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Topic of the week:

Swimming Pool Safety and Liability Precautions

By Peter Carr

child-pool_splash-smIf you own a pool, relaxing in the backyard during the summer months is a fun and enjoyable way to beat the summer heat.  Though splashing and diving is carefree fun, owning a backyard pool comes with serious responsibilities, too. From poolside party safety tips to supervision, there are many general safety precautions you can take to make sure your friends and family enjoy your pool safely. To help you minimize your risk, we’ve gathered some safety tips to keep you in the know as you swim.

General Recommendations:

  • Install a fence with self-locking and closing gates to completely isolate your pool from your house and the areas around it. The fence should be at least 5 feet high so that people who are not supposed to be swimming do not have access without your permission and supervision.
  • Lock and cover spas when they are not in use.
  • Do not leave your children or guests alone in the event that they would need assistance. As the homeowner, you are ultimately liable for the safety of others in the pool on your property.
  • Remove toys from the pool when they are not in use.
  • Avoid swimming alone in case you suffer a health problem such as a muscle cramp or heart attack and consequently cannot swim to the side safely without assistance. Make sure your child uses the buddy system if swimming with friends.
  • Do not stick your fingers in grates and filters.
  • Do not swim for at least 30 minutes if you hear thunder or see lightening. When you see or hear thunder and lightening again, wait an additional 30 minutes before going into the pool.
  • Do not allow swimmers to dive in shallow water - it is recommended not to dive head-first in water less than 9 feet deep, and not to dive at all into water less than 5 feet deep.
  • Keep lifesaving equipment near the pool and learn how to properly use it.
  • Do not allow swimmers to horseplay in the pool.
  • Teach pool rules to your children and guests and post them in a highly visible location.

Knowing how to swim and following these safety tips will help keep you and your children safe. Explain swimming safety to children when young, and reinforce its importance regularly.