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6 things every pool owner should know

By Megan Bouchard, Canadian Red Cross Digital Volunteer
 
With summer in full swing, we are all looking for ways to beat the heat while having fun, and what better way than to go for a swim? This year there has been a rise in new backyard pool owners, and whether it’s inflatable or above ground we want to help you ‘S.P.L.A.S.H.’ into summer fun while keeping your family safe!
 
Supervision
 
Be sure swimmers always have adult supervision! If you have to leave, even to answer the phone or grab a glass of water, bring your child with you. When you are done in the pool, remove the temptation to play in the water by removing all toys.
 Graphic of backyard pool safety
Along with your children taking swimming lessons, you as a parent can make your pool a safer area by taking a Red Cross Swim Course, Red Cross First Aid Course, and have Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) worn by weak or non-swimmers. Youths can also be encouraged to take the Red Cross Lifeguard Course!
 
Pool Rules
 
Having established pool rules to set expectations can ensure your children have fun while still staying safe. Such rules can include swimming with a partner, or no glass containers allowed near the pool. Every pool owner should refer to their municipal bylaws for fencing requirements to ensure they are meeting local requirements. We recommend backyard pools be properly fenced, and have self-closing and self-latching gates, with an inside latch that is above the reach of children.
 
Ladder
 
Above-ground pools should have the ladder or steps removed when not in use. On-ground portable or kiddie pools should be emptied when not in use.
 
Action Plan
 
Have an Action Plan including adult supervision, an emergency signal, safetyGraphic of active supervision equipment and emergency procedures. Learn how to perform a safe rescue and what to do in an emergency by taking a first aid course.
 
 
Sunshine
 
Nighttime and stormy conditions should be avoided – always swim when it is bright and clear! And even when overcast, be sure to wear a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15.
 
Heels-First
 
Judging a pool’s depth can be tricky, but as a general rule most backyards pools are not diving-friendly – be sure to always enter the water, feet-first.
 
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