As pool season kicks off for many of the 35,000 plus swimming pools in Denton County, it is important to be aware of pool safety. May has been designated as National Water Safety Month.
National Water Safety Month is an annual awareness campaign coordinated by the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance with support from the American Red Cross, National Drowning Prevention Alliance, National Recreation & Park Association, and the World Waterpark Association. These organizations represent businesses and other individuals and agencies involved in bringing safe, enjoyable aquatic activities to the American public, from home pools and spas, to waterparks and resorts, to public swimming and water recreation facilities.
In observance of National Water Safety Month, following are some water safety tips from the Pool Safely “Simple Steps Save Lives” Program:
1. Staying close, being alert and watching children in and around the pool.
- Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water.
- Teach children basic water safety tips.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments.
- Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa.
- If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.
- Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors.
2. Learning and practicing water safety skills
- Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim.
- Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.
- Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency.
3. Having appropriate equipment for your pool or spa.
- Install a four-foot or taller fence around the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same around their pools.
- Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.
- If your house serves as a fourth side of a fence around a pool, install door alarms and always use them. For additional protection, install window guards on windows facing pools or spas.
- Install pool and gate alarms to alert you when children go near the water.
- Ensure any pool and spa you use has compliant drain covers, and ask your pool service provider if you do not know.
- Maintain pool and spa covers in good working order.
- Consider using a surface wave or underwater alarm.
Swimming is an excellent activity that family and friends can enjoy together, but we must always have respect for the potential danger that exists.
For more information on Water Safety Month, visit their website at www.nwsm.phta.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/watersafetymonth. In addition, a great website for getting more information on pool safety is www.poolsafely.gov.