The entire family can have fun with a backyard swimming pool, but before investing in an aquatic structure, you should become familiar with local building regulations and safety guidelines. Be mindful that in most municipalities, laws mandate the use of security fences, so you'll need to leave adequate space for them when planning your outdoor improvements. You'll also need to invest in covers and self-latching, child-proof pool barriers to protect both the pool and any children who might be nearby. But it's equally important to invest the time to teach children and the adults who supervise them about how to make sure that every swimmer stays safe.
Unintentional pool drownings account for more than 300 deaths of U.S. children under the age of four each year. That's why it's important to follow safety guidelines at all times, including never letting children swim alone. A child younger than five should always be within an adult's reach, and everyone should learn how to swim as soon as they're old enough to do so. It's also important to make sure that the pool isn't overcrowded; take care to stay within the pool's maximum bather load at all times.
Another important part of pool safety is keeping the water clean and doing so in a way that doesn't introduce hazards for the swimmers. Circulation, filtration, and the use of pool chemicals help rid the pool of dirt and illness-causing microbes, but these tools need to be used carefully. Chemical levels should be monitored regularly to ensure that they're high enough to kill harmful germs but not high enough to harm the health of swimmers, and drain covers must be installed inside the pool to keep people from being sucked into the pump and trapped underwater.
With unscrupulous pool salespeople targeting communities where pools are popular, the Better Business Bureau has put together a complete general buyer and information guide for homeowners considering the building of a residential pool, including ways to save energy and some helpful safety tips.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors offers an article explaining the importance of adult-access-only pool fencing and breaks down the international building code specifications.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has put together a booklet that provides tips to protect young children from gaining unsupervised access to pools or spas.
The Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention discusses the different designs, purposes, and benefits of either a floating or safety pool cover.
Children under four years old die from drowning more than any other means. This booklet discusses preventative actions and offers tips for child care providers when swimming in residential pools or other aquatic facilities or in baths.
The International Code Council of Southern Nevada provides a concise recap of a National Safety Council report on drownings in swimming pools.
The Alliance for Early Childhood interviews a swimming instructor and looks at the benefits of young children learning how to swim.
Follow these guidelines to stay safe in the pool.
This Kids Health article answers questions about the importance of safety in the water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics share the best ways to keep your child safe around the pool.
To promote better swimming for the family, here is a FAQ list about having a healthy pool.
Read a checklist of rules to ensure that your family stays safe while using a swimming pool.
Safe Kids Worldwide discusses designating an adult water watcher when children are swimming, learning CPR, ensuring that pool drains are compliant with the Pool and Spa Safety Act, and a few other important ways to keep your pool safe.
Find valuable answers to common questions and guidelines to follow that you can pass on to your children about water and swimming pool protection and precautions.
The Indiana Department of Health explains a pool's load capacity with a chart, a diagram, and capacity examples.
According to this AARP Bulletin, contrary to the long-held belief, experts acknowledge that eating before taking a swim poses a very little threat to a person's health.
New York's Department of Health gives an easy-to-understand list of suggestions about the proper and improper ways to handle pool chemicals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together an informative page to encourage safe handling and storage of pool chemicals.
Read this document from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals to learn about how to maintain and use an above-ground pool safely.
Tools such as pool chemical test strips and sunscreen can help everyone stay safe while swimming.
Follow these guidelines to ensure that young children are safe while they enjoy the water.
This article provides information about pool cleanliness and offers insight on pool chemistry.
Poor filtration, inadequate sanitation, and deficient circulation can lead to the blooming of pool algae.
Make sure that fun by the pool is safe for your family with these tips.