Long hot summer days mean many families will be taking refuge in their backyard pools. Pools are a great source of fun and entertainment. However, there are risks associated with swimming pools and water safety should always be a top priority.
When it comes to backyard and public pools, Connecticut has stringent codes and regulations to ensure the safety of residents.
1. Be prepared
Take preventative steps to ensure that your swimming area is situated for favorable outcomes in the event of an accident or emergency.
Make sure to carefully review state regulations regarding swimming pool safety. Prepare your swimming area to be up to code and always keep a first aid kit nearby.
As a pool owner or frequent swimmer, consider getting a CPR or Aquatics Safety certification. Although these certifications are commonly associated with lifeguards, they are also valuable for the general public.
Stock your swimming area with life vests and other flotation devices for those who are not proficient swimmers or in case a swimmer becomes incapacitated.
Always watch children closely, even if you don’t anticipate them going near the water. If you are unable to locate a child, check the water first.
2. Secure barriers
Consider investing in childproof doorknob covers or lever locks in the doorways leading from your home to the outside.
Pools should be barricaded and equipped with secure latches and locks.
Gate alarms are also a popular addition to pool locks because they signal any breaches to the pool area.
Designating a defined parameter around any body of water whether it be an inflatable pool, above-ground pool, or inground pool is ideal.
Make sure that your pool has a working filtration system.
Keep pool chemicals locked away from children and store them separately from other household cleaning products to avoid chemical reactions.
Use pool chemicals as directed. Pool cleaning chemicals, such as chlorine, help to keep water and swimmers free from bacterial contamination.
Use a pool skimmer to regularly remove identifiable debris from the water.
4. Pool rules
Keep a list of pool rules on hand and visible to swimmers.
No using the pool unsupervised, no running, no more than X number of swimmers at a time, no diving, and no pets in the pool area are some examples of quintessential pool rules.
Make sure that all those in your household are aware of these rules and why they are so important to follow.
Give regular examples of how these rules help protect swimmers and consider allowing household members to add their own rules they feel will help keep the swimming space safe.
Stay up to date with changing regulations and pool equipment protocols.
5. Regular inspection
Conduct weekly inspections of swimming area and pool functions such as gate latches, filtration systems, and flotation devices.
Inspect drains and drain covers before each use to ensure that these systems are working properly and will not cause harm to swimmers.
The American Red Cross has a wealth of resources regarding pool safety which can be accessed here: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/water-safety/home-pool-safety.html
To ensure sure your private or public pool is in compliance with state regulations visit: https://portal.ct.gov/SDE/Pool-Safety/Pool-Safety-Policy-and-Guidance.
Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford native, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris – https://dearfitkris.wordpress.com/