A safe pool is a fun pool

In the hot summer months, it is always a treat to enjoy the sun by a pool for refreshing dips in the water. As we welcome hot weather, remember to take some steps to ensure a safe environment poolside for all to enjoy.

Make water safety mandatory in any pool adventure: learn to swim, secure your pool and always watch kids closely.
Here are simple steps you can follow to secure your pool:
Make water safety mandatory in any pool adventure: learn to swim, secure your pool and always watch kids closely.
  • Fence it: Build a four-sided fence that has a self-closing and self-latching gate; keep the gate closed with restricted access at all times. The home should not open directly into the pool area.  Refer to your municipal bylaws for fencing requirements.
  • Cover it: Install a cover with a lock on your hot tub and/or small backyard pool.
  • Empty it: Small on-ground portable or kiddie pools should be emptied when not in use. Above-ground pools should have the ladder or steps removed when not in use.
  • Enforce it: Establish pool rules. These can include: swim with a buddy, children must have an adult with them at all times, and no glass containers around the pool.  Few backyard pools are safe for diving - swimmers should always enter the water feet-first.  Keep the deck clear of toys and debris.
  • Have an Action Plan: Establish emergency procedures including adult supervision, an emergency signal, readily accessible safety equipment such as reaching or throwing assists, a working phone and first aid kit.
  • Select a back-up person. If you need a break, select another Designated Water Watcher to replace you before you leave the area.  For instance you may need a break to check on dinner, etc.  Do not use alcohol or drugs in or around the pool.
There is a lot of fun to be had around a pool, with water sports and games. But with children, active adult supervision is of the utmost importance - never leave your child unattended, not even for a second.
  • Lifejackets or PFDs should be worn by weak or non-swimmers, but they are not substitutes for supervision by an adult with good swimming skills, or a lifeguard.
  • Enroll your children in Red Cross swimming lessons.
  • Adults who are weak swimmers should also take lessons, and have first aid training.
  • Take your children with you if you have to leave the pool area for any reason.
Keep in mind:
  • The best time to swim is during the daytime. If there is thunder or lightning, stay out of the pool.
  • Be Sun Smart - Use sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 even on cloudy days, and reapply every 3-4 hours.  Wear a wide-brim hat, sunglasses, and light clothing to cover your skin whenever possible.
Check out more water safety resources and print out this copy of pool safety guidelines – visit redcross.ca/swim.

Also, download our free First Aid app to have handy resources at your fingertips should a poolside emergency occur!

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