Tips for safer pools and hot tubs

February 26, 2012

Children and Teens, Grief, Trauma

With millions enjoying their summers by swimming in backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs, the need for pool and hot tub safety is urgent.

by Laurie Batter — 

Now that summer is here, stories about drowning tragedies are making headlines across the country. With millions enjoying their summers by swimming in backyard pools and relaxing in hot tubs, the need for pool and hot tub safety is urgent.

The American Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® want all home pool and hot tub owners to make safety a priority by following these guidelines:

1. Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround the pool with a 4-foot high fence or barrier. Make sure that it has a self-closing, self-latching gate. Install alarms on any doors leading to the pool, which will sound when opened unexpectedly. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps for access. Consider installing an alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.

2. Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arms’ reach of young children. Designate one responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool — never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

3. Ensure that everyone in the home knows how to swim well. Be sure to enroll family members in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.

4. Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Use proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.

5. Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors. These include “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy” and “walk, please.”

6. Ensure that everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies. Have appropriate safety equipment and take water safety, first-aid and CPR courses.

 

Laurie Batter is with batterupproductions.com, a marketing and public relations firm. 760-438-9304. Learn about the Red Cross and NSPF at www.redcross.org and www.nspf.org.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 3, June/July 2010.

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