Having a pool is not only a wonderful luxury, but an important responsibility. Although a pool is often fun for homeowners and their families, it can also be dangerous. This is why pool safety is so important.
Pool safety is also much more complicated than many pool owners and users realize. It is important for every pool owner and user to know the four biggest risks of pools, which include the following:
- Not knowing how to swim
- Diving boards
Once all of these dangers are understood, it is much easier to keep your family, friends, and neighbors safe while continuing to enjoy all the benefits of your pool. Let’s look at each of these dangers in turn and learn how best to address them.
This is the silent, not often thought of danger inherent in owning or using a pool. Bacterial and viral infections can be very common if pool water is contaminated. Luckily, it’s easy to keep the water in your own pool safe.
The best way to prevent unhealthy bacteria growth in your pool is to properly treat all pool water. Specifics for treating the water in your pool can be found with your pool manufacturer, in pool safety books or blogs, and in local laws and regulations regarding pools. A little research on this subject can save a life.
Not Knowing How to Swim
Not knowing how to swim is a more common problem than you might realize. According to the Red Cross, 44% of Americans aren’t up on all their basic water safety skills.
Taking a quick swimming lesson as a refresher course before the pool season starts may be an easy way to save a life. These are often offered for very affordable prices at local pools and gyms. The Red Cross and other nonprofit health organizations also have plenty of general tips for pool and swim safety.
Many pool owners install diving boards in water that is too shallow for diving. In fact, this can be a problem even at public pools, though it is rarer.
The New York Department of Health prohibits head-first diving in water less than eight feet deep, and even notes that the Red Cross recommends at least nine feet of depth for maximum safety. The New York Department of Health also recommends diving from a standing position, not with a running start.
Even starting blocks are restricted to official swim meets and swim training activities in New York, and many other states as well. Entering the water head-first and/or at high speed can be very dangerous without proper training.
Although this is the most obvious and most feared pool danger, it still causes the death of many Americans every year.
Knowing how to swim, avoiding alcohol, and not swimming in the pool alone are the best ways to prevent drowning deaths. For children, adult supervision and a “swim buddy” are recommended at all times.