We love our backyard pools – and so do our kids, friends and extended family! There’s nothing better than splashing or floating in the sun. But the best way to enjoy your pool, is to enjoy it safely.
Luckily, pool safety is easy and takes only a bit of vigilance to ensure everyone gets the most out of having fun by the pool.
These seven backyard pool lifeguarding tips will help you have fun all summer, while keeping your family and friends safe by the water.
1. Always keep an eye on kids.
Toys intended for fun and floatation can also be dangerous, especially for kids. It is important to watch kids closely, even when they are using inflatable or floating toys. These can turn over easily.
The best way to always keep a line of sight to your kids is to minimize the number of inflatable or floating objects in the pool. A less cluttered pool surface is easy to monitor.
2. Stay within an arm’s length of children.
The absolute best backyard pool lifeguarding tip is this: always be within one arm’s length of any children who are in, or near, the pool.
For family get-togethers, have one adult supervising kids for every two kids using or playing by the pool. Whoever is on BBQ duty should not double as a supervisor!
Even when you’re talking to friends or family, have your eyes on the pool at all times by positioning yourself to face the pool in conversation.
Don’t turn your back. Don’t leave to answer the phone. Your job is very important!
3. Learn CPR.
Preventing accidents is the most important aspect of owning a pool, but knowing what to do if an accident occurs is just as vital to saving the life of your child, a friend, or another family member.
There should always be at least one person who knows CPR when you are using your pool. The Canadian Red Cross provides First Aid and CPR courses in your city. Today is the best day to get certified!
4. Teach your kids to swim.
Kids who know how to swim are not only safer around your pool, they can also have more fun in the water! Use your backyard pool to teach your kids how to swim, or register them in a swimming class, such as the North Vancouver swimming program.
5. Have children wear lifejackets if they are not strong swimmers.
Kids who do not swim well, or don’t know how to swim, should always wear lifejackets in the pool if there isn’t an adult holding them. Keep a special eye on kids who can’t swim well, that are on the pool deck, even if they don’t plan on swimming. You’ll want to be alert and prepared in case a child slips and falls into the pool.
6. Have a no head-first diving policy in the shallow end.
Make sure everyone is on board with a no head-first diving policy, anywhere in your pool – even the deep end. That means adults should not pretend to dive in head-first, and kids know that this style of diving is not allowed!
7. Consider a fence or hard-top cover.
You can make sure everyone is safe from falling into the pool, or jumping in when no one is watching, by protecting your pool with a high, locked fence around its perimeter. Another alternative is installing a hard-top pool cover for your pool. While a soft cover can cave in and act like a net if someone falls in, a hard cover can save a life!
Backyard pool lifeguarding is all about preventing accidents, injuries and drowning, but knowing what to do if the unexpected DOES happen is important too. CPR and First Aid training should be on your to-do list as soon as you plan on having a Vancouver pool company plan your backyard pool design.
The best way to enjoy your new pool is by enjoying it – safely!