When you think of summer, chances are you also think of lounging by the pool. Warm weather and swimming often go hand-in-hand, but unfortunately, so do accidents.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1-4, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide report evaluating home pool safety.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a pool in your yard, make sure you take plenty of precautions to reduce the risk of injuries.
Always supervise pool use
For homeowners who have pools, the single most important safety precaution is to supervise kids when they’re swimming. We at HomeInsurance.com cannot stress that point enough.
Chaperones should be outside, giving swimmers their undivided attention. Phones should be put away at all times and chaperones should be alert while supervising pool usage. This means don’t mix martinis and monitoring. If a child who is not a strong swimmer mistakenly jumps into the deep end, the chaperone needs to be ready to jump in at a moment’s notice and get him or her to safety – not scooping the olive from a drink.
Aside from being mentally alert, you need to be physically present. If a chaperone is watching the pool from inside the house, a child could be seriously injured before any kind of rescue tactics could take place.
As a parent, if you have a pool, you should teach your kids never to enter a pool without an adult present. Teach them at the same time they’re learning to swim so that this precaution becomes a habit early on.
Take it a step further and learn CPR
If you want more peace of mind as a parent and/or homeowner, take first aid, water safety, and CPR courses. These courses are offered at fire departments, hospitals, American Red Cross locations, etc.
Getting CPR-certified can help you feel confident that you’ll be prepared even in emergency situations. It’s a good idea for every member of the family to participate and get certified, too.
Secure your pool
Don’t leave your pool open and vulnerable. Per insurance recommendations, pools should always be surrounded by fences that are at least six feet tall. It’s also a best practice to cover pools and hot tubs when they are not in use.
Education is key
If your home’s amenities include a pool, enroll your child(ren) in swimming lessons at an early age. Having your kids get acclimated to the water and learn this life skill at a young age can give you more peace of mind come summertime. But until kids become strong swimmers, they should wear a life jacket at all times.
Though it may be a scary conversation to have with your children, they should be taught about the dangers of pools. For example, make sure they understand to never play near pool drains or suction outlets. Tell them what can happen and ensure that they always steer clear.
Let’s be crystal clear…
Not all risks pertain to drowning. If you don’t keep your pool clean, clear, and hovering around the proper pH balance, children could pick up diseases from going for a dip. Keep all swimmers healthy by maintaining a pristine pool.
Don’t skimp on liability coverage
Having a pool is quite the luxury, albeit a risky one. Ensure that your home insurance policy has enough liability coverage to protect yourself and your family in any scenario. Consider umbrella coverage – an extension of the liability protection typically included in a standard home insurance policy.
Accidents happen, and it’s vital to have a policy that can keep you from being forced to pay medical, rehabilitation, and/or funeral costs out of pocket in the event a swimmer is injured on your property. Remember, you can be held responsible even for injuries suffered by trespassers.
Photo credit for preview image: Shannon Ireland