It is helpful to implement as many steps as possible to stay safe in a residential swimming pool or hot tub. Most people who have a pool and young children already have some safety rules in place, but it never hurts to examine those and add a few more. Drownings are a common cause of death in younger children who live in homes with residential pools or hot tubs. These deaths are preventable, so families can put practices that have been proven effective in place to avoid serious injuries or death. In addition to devising preventative measures, it is also important to make preparedness a priority. This ensures families can quickly respond if children or guests are in danger. The following items are good to include in a pool or spa safety toolkit:
- A pair of sharp and durable scissors to cut a pool cover, clothing or hair if needed.
- A first aid kit.
- A flotation device.
- A portable phone that is charged in case someone must call 911.
When it is time to expand a safety plan or list of rules for a residential pool or spa, consider the following suggestions:
- Stay close at all times, and be alert when children are around or in the pool.
- Teach kids the basic safety tips for being in and around water.
- Make sure a phone is nearby whenever someone is using a spa or pool.
- Ensure children keep away from pipes, drains and other openings in pools.
- Whenever a child is missing, make a habit of looking in the pool or spa first.
- Make sure all family members understand and memorize the safety rules.
- When guests come to visit, share the safety rules with them.
- Teach children how to swim, and adults should also learn how to swim.
- Learn the basics of life saving to help someone if there is a pool emergency.
- Learn how to perform CPR on adults and children, and stay current on certification.
Families should also make sure they have safety equipment for their spas and pools. A four-foot fence should be put around the spa and pool. Self-closing or latching gates are helpful to have. If neighbors have pools as well, recommend that they do this. Put door alarms on any doors if one side of the house serves as one wall of the pool enclosure. For spas, install and always use a safety cover that locks. Keep all locks and covers in good working order by maintaining them properly. Pool and gate alarms should be installed to alert adults when kids enter the pool area. Underwater alarms are helpful to have as well. Any spa or pool used should have drain covers that are compliant with regulations. When unsure about these regulations, ask the pool service provider. For more tips about pool safety, injuries and insurance claims, discuss concerns with an agent.