National Water Safety Month begins in May and is a joint effort of several organizations related to the aquatic industry and several states, including Connecticut, who recognizes May as an excellent time to highlight water safety as we venture outside and increase outdoor activities. This includes going swimming in our own pools, going to a beach, lake, or even a water park. I will begin by addressing swimming pool safety so that our expertise can be utilized as you begin to open your pools for the season. I would suggest that as a family you take a few minutes at the beginning of the swim season to go over the safety issues involved in all swimming venues, whether it is your backyard, a friends house or a public venue. Knowing certain rules and obeying the person in charge will not only make your day safe and fun but will keep the invites to future BBQ’s and other events coming as well. Below are some guidelines for parents to follow and also some for the family as a whole to do together to make the summer enjoyable and safe.
Adults:Always have constant adult supervision in the pool, spa or hot tub area. This means no distractions by cell phones, books, etc. Have a cordless phone by the pool so you do not leave children unattended in the water; remember your main attention is your child not a phone conversation.
When opening the pool check and make sure suction fittings, jets, grate covers, and drain covers are securely fastened and meet the ANSI/ASME standard. Do not allow swimming if a cover is loose, missing, or cracked this must be repaired first.
Check all diving boards, slides and platforms for cracks prior to use making sure installation is correct. Again any damaged items should not be installed for use.
Make sure heaters are properly ventilated and all electrical equipment is properly grounded and bonded as well as protected by GFCI circuits and up to code. If a cord is frayed replace it, (and no an extension cord is not up to code) and if you are unsure call a professional technician or electrician.
Install and inspect fences, self-closing and latching gates, and baby barrier fencing. Also check your fence, gate, and pool alarms and keep life rings, hooks and other rescue equipment near the pool. Inspect and make sure there are adequate and safe entry and exit ladders and handrails at both ends of the pool.
Check your water chemistry at least twice weekly.
1. Sanitized water keeps bacteria at bay and illness away and protects your family from germs. 2. Water clarity aids in identifying swimmers in distress.
Kids & Family:
Use the Buddy System; never swim alone even if you are a good swimmer and if you are not, get skilled by learning to swim at your local YMCA.
Learn CPR-The Red Cross has an excellent water safety program and CPR course, take the time to learn CPR. If you learned years ago take a refresher course.
Know your limits. Remember when your parents told you your lips are turning purple and you still did not want to get out of the water? Well, take a break, warm up a little. If you have been active for a long period of time slow down, remember to apply sunscreen and hydrate by drinking water. You still can become dehydrated even though you are in thousands of gallons of water and you can become hypothermic even if it is warm and sunny.
Swim in Safe areas. Face it; if you can’t swim you shouldn’t be jumping into the deep end of the pool. Nor should you be diving in areas that are shallow. Only dive in areas designated. DO NOT DRINK AND DIVE!
Many of these rules will apply to all bodies of water including Water parks, lakes and oceans, and the vessels used on them. Boats, Jet skis and other flotation devices that may give a false sense of security should also be closely examined on a regular basis. Taking a few minutes now can bring hours of fun in the sun for your friends and family.
For information on any safety products available for your pool or spa contact us at Prospect Pools LLC. 203-758-0524 visit us at www.prospectpoolsllc.com or read our blog at www.prospectpoolsllc.com/blog
Check out this kid friendly site for interactive games on safety at www.splashzoneusa.com