If you own a swimming pool, ensure the safety of everyone by taking extra steps. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) placed drowning fifth among the leading causes of unintentional deaths in the U.S. Aside from drowning, there are other pool-related injuries such as bruises, broken bones, and skin irritations.
Here are four ideas to keep the swimming pool safe for everyone:
Physical barricades like fences are your first line of defense. Since local regulations on pool fences vary from state to state, these guidelines from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are a good way to start.
- The fence should be at least 4 feet (1.2 meters) tall and separates the pool area from the rest of the yard.
- The spaces between each bar shouldn’t be big enough to let a child squeeze through. If the fence has vertical bars, the space between each bar should be no more than 4 inches apart.
- The holes or cutouts in the fence shouldn’t be big enough to provide hand or footholds. The openings should be less than 1 3/4 inches wide.
Instead of building a fence around the pool, why not just cover it completely? It will prevent children, pets — basically anything — from falling in the pool. ; You have two materials to choose from for your pool cover: mesh and solid.
- Mesh – This is one of the more affordable options. It can last more than 15 years with proper care. Because they’re light, they more manageable than a solid cover. But despite their light weight, a mesh cover can often support up to a thousand pounds.
- Solid – A solid cover gives your pool an impenetrable barrier against the sun, rain, snow and other debris. A solid cover means you won’t have dirt collecting on the bottom of your pool. Likewise, the cover will block out sun and wind, inhibiting algae growth.
Drowning isn’t the only safety hazard you should look out for. Slips and falls cause bruises, broken bones and even death.
According to the CDC, falls are responsible for 47 percent of all emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with traumatic brain injuries. Anti-slip tapes, sometimes called anti-skid tapes, have a rough surface that increases friction between a person’s feet and the ground’s surface, therefore helps prevent slipping.
Mild cleaning chemicals
Swimming pool chemicals offer many benefits like balancing the water’s pH level, ensuring the water isn’t too acidic nor too alkaline, and preventing algae growth and corrosion.
However, the same chemicals used to treat the water can be hazardous if not used correctly. In 2012, pool chemicals caused nearly 5,000 emergency room visits in the U.S.
Common pool chemicals such as chlorine and muriatic acid can cause skin irritations. Also, if you inhale dust from these chemicals, you may experience coughing, shortness of breath, chest discomfort or choking. Lastly, if the chemical spills on your skin, it can cause redness or chemical burns.
You can clean the water in your pool using muriatic acid alternatives for pools. Some types use a CO2-based pH control system to ensure that your pool stays clear and non-toxic.
Splashing around the backyard pool is a fun activity, but it can be dangerous if safety precautions aren’t met. Follow these pool safety guidelines to ensure a great experience for you and your family.