Swimming Pool Safety Checklist

Published on May 28, 2013

Summer is approaching, the warm weather has arrived and you’re looking to hit the pool. Swimming pools are always popular, but they can be dangerous too. With a few precautions, you can keep your family safe this summer.

According to PoolSafely.gov, emergency departments treated an average of 4,200 children under 15 years old for pool- or spa-related submersion injuries between 2007 and 2009. Between 2005 and 2007, there was an average of 385 drowning deaths per year of children under 15.

So, what can you do to keep children safe on your watch? PoolSafety.gov gives these recommendations:

  • Always keep a close eye on your child when near a pool
  • Teach children basic water safety practices
  • Keep a telephone nearby when using the pool
  • If your child is missing, first check the pool
  • Be sure that all adults who care for your child know the safety instructions
  • Know how to swim; teach children how to swim
  • Learn CPR (for children and adults) and be sure that your skills are current
  • Know basic rescue and life-saving in case of emergency

Swimming Pool
Photo credit to Flickr user khamael

Children aren’t the only ones who run into trouble at the pool, however. It’s important to maintain appropriate pool equipment and ensure that it’s in good working order. This is not only for safety, but for liability reasons, too, if it’s your private pool.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure that your pool meets safety standards, but make sure you check your local codes, as well:/p>

  • Your pool should have a four-foot or taller fence around its entire perimeter; the fence should have self-latching gates
  • If your house is the fourth side of the fence, make sure it has door and window alarms and that they are turned on
  • Pool and gate alarms should be in place to alert you when children are near the water
  • Be sure that your pool has compliant drain covers
  • Maintain pool and spa covers
  • Use an underwater or surface alarm
  • Be sure that you have rescue equipment including life rings and reach poles readily accessible

If you’re visiting a community pool, there are precautions you can take to ensure your family’s safety there, as well:

  • Be sure the pool has been inspected and complies with federal and local regulations
  • Check to see if the pumps are running
  • Know the location of life-saving devices including life rings and reach poles
  • Know whether there is a lifeguard on duty (and whether there are enough lifeguards based on the pool’s use at a given time) who is trained in first aid and emergency response
  • Continue to be vigilant about supervising your children and knowing where they are at all times, even when there is a lifeguard on duty

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Jeremy Thurman

Jeremy Thurman has been practicing law since 2002, and spent his first two years in practice with an insurance company defense firm. He joined McIntyre in 2004 and draws on his previous experience with insurance companies to represent plaintiffs in personal injury and mass tort cases. His primary areas of practice include auto negligence, medical malpractice, defective drugs, and nursing home negligence. Read more about Jeremy Thurman.

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