With the swim season upon us, it never hurts to review this timely list of pool safety rules. To be honest, some of these I haven't thought about since my childhood, when the lifeguards at Oak Park Cabana Club would blow their whistles and yell "NO RUNNING!" hundreds of times a day! As adults, we tend to get complacent, so I thought I would look them up and share for all to consider! According to StopDrowningNow.org, 10 people drown every day on average, and drowning is the #1 cause of death in children 1-4 years old!
1. Walk, don’t run. The number one pool safety rule is to never, ever run near a swimming pool. Slipping on wet concrete is a real concern and serious injuries can result.
2. Listen to instructions and obey pool rules. Public pools may have different rules regarding conduct and play in the pool, including allowed toys and attire. Always obey the pool rules.
3. No diving in the shallow end. Only dive in designated areas, and never dive into an above-ground pool. Diving injuries can have a lifetime of consequences.
4. No roughhousing. Drowning accidents can occur during rough play in the pool, especially with young children. No jumping on each other in the pool, or holding anyone underwater.
5. Don’t play around drains and covers. Even when properly equipped, pool drains and covers can be hazardous. Never play near drains or suctions. Entrapments occur when someone or something becomes stuck to these drains or suctions and pose a serious danger to young children who are too small to break away. If you are a pool owner, inspect your drains and covers regularly to ensure proper function.
6. Never swim alone. No one should swim alone and children should absolutely never be left unsupervised in a pool, even if they are proven accomplished swimmers. Drowning accidents are vastly more likely to occur when the victim is alone or unsupervised.
7. Sun safety is part of the deal. Always wear sunscreen when swimming outdoors and wear appropriate clothing poolside. This is especially important for kids.
8. Use pool safety equipment properly. Pool safety equipment should not be used as toys. Make sure all equipment is well maintained and available for proper use whenever necessary.
9. Out of the pool and inside when storms threaten. Lightning can strike suddenly, even in the absence of rain or with blue sky visible. Take cover when a storm approaches and remain out of the water until at least 30 minutes after the last lightning is sighted or thunder heard.
10. Know how to respond in an emergency. Parents and caregivers should know basics of CPR and first aid. Always have a phone available. Children should be taught to notify an adult immediately if anyone is having difficulty in the water.