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Swimming Pool Safety Tips

Summer is coming! Summer brings lots of sun, and lots of sun brings lots of hot weather. The first thing a lot of us want to do when we start to feel the heat is to cool off in a swimming pool. If you're lucky, you'll have one at your house, subdivision or apartment complex. Otherwise, you can usually find a pool at your local gym or YMCA. Pools are fun, but a good time can easily be ruined by an injury or, in worst case, a drowning. Like any other body of water, there are several things you should keep in mind when using a swimming pool to keep yourself and your family safe.
  • Do not let children swim unattended. If your child is a poor swimmer or under five years old, it's a good idea to stay within an arm's length at all times. At least one of the adults around should know CPR.
  • If you have a pool at your house, make sure there is a fence or gate around the pool that is at least five feet tall. It should be of a material that isn't easy for a child to climb over (chain-link, etc) and have a lock that is at a height children can't reach.
  • Don't leave toys in the pool or surrounding areas.
  • Children who can't swim shouldn't get into or near a pool. If they do, they need to stay in the shallow end and be close to an adult at all times.
  • Floats and arm 'floaties' aren't a substitute for life jackets or life preservers, so have approved life-saving equipment where you can get to if it you need it. You should also have a 'shepherd's hook' or other long pole that someone can hold onto if need be. It's also a good idea to keep a portable phone near the pool in case you need to call for help.
  • Wear sunscreen, especially on areas of the body that stay above the water. The sun's rays reflect off of the water, so the risk of burning and sun damage is higher.
  • Do not dive in shallow water. When I say 'shallow water', I'm thinking of anything less than eight feet. If someone dives in water that isn't deep enough, they risk hitting their head on the bottom of the pool. This can cause permanent injury or drowning.
  • You might not want to let your kids 'surf' by standing on floats. If they do, however, make sure they do so in an area that is far enough from the edges of the pool that they won't hit their head if they fall.
  • It's a good idea to have a sturdy cover to put over the pool when you're not using it.
And this may seem obvious, but-
  • Don't drink and swim! I know it might seem fun to hang out in the pool with a beer or fancy drink, but it's not a good idea. Not only can alcohol affect judgement and reaction time on its own, the sun and heat can make one drink feel like two, two feel like four-you get the idea.
I hope now you have an idea about how to make sure you and your family are safe when using a swimming pool. This way, everyone can be safe, and a good time can be had by all.

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