Today I’m going to talk a little about swimming pool safety. Part of owning a swimming pool includes safety, and there are some things that folks often overlook or just don’t think much about. Safety isn’t just about watching swimmers, not swimming alone, or not swimming while intoxicated (nor supervising swimmers while intoxicated). Swimming pool safety encompasses the pool, the equipment and tools used for upkeep and maintenance of the pool, and also the area surrounding the pool.
I hate to even be writing this post but one of my son’s little buddies (we’ll call him P) had a scary incident at his family members’ swimming pool and since I’ve seen pool hoses in water many times myself, I felt like I had to share. This is P’s back not long after a pool hose suctioned onto his back. P is a great little swimmer, but at 5 1/2 simply isn’t strong enough to pull away from the suction of the pool hose. Someone was vacuuming the pool and took the vacuum off the hose but left the hose in the pool while children were swimming. I don’t know if you have ever felt the strength of the suction from a pool hose, but it’s strong. Really strong. My husband was vacuuming behind our pool ladder earlier today and thinking of P, I put my hand in front of the hose end. It took me some strength to pull my hand away. I’m 39, and consider myself to be fairly strong. P is 5. By the grace of God, the hose was at the surface and the family he was staying with was able to grab him out of the water quickly. He’s sore, shaken up, but he’s here. He’ll be fine. They got lucky.
For reference, this bruise/mark on P’s back is about 3 inches wide. If you look closely you can see where the hose end actually was touching his back. Please, please, do NOT let young children vacuum your pool. Don’t even let children into the pool if the hose is hooked up.
When you are finished vacuuming your pool, turn the hose off, and remove it from the pool immediately. Don’t answer the door, don’t answer the phone, don’t leave it for later. Take it out. The suction is incredibly strong and bad things can and will happen. P got very lucky, but much worse could have happened. Public pools have to have covers on their filters to help prevent injuries like this.
Diane from Philzendia wrote about the importance of Pool Alarms in swimming pools. We have an alarm on our pool. It was one of the things we purchased for the pool and installed immediately. I know many who have a pool, I don’t know many who have an alarm. Diane has some great thoughts about it.
Kecia from Southern Girl Ramblings wrote some helpful tips about Pool Safety for Kids and includes some great ideas. Swimming in pools can be oh-so-much fun and a great way to play, bond and get some exercise for all ages- but only when done safely. One of my favorite swimming pool safety tips that Kecia touched on was watching children. I can’t say it enough- it takes just a second for something to go wrong. Don’t leave kids unattended. Be there. Be present. Be watching.
Get some great pool safety information, printouts and brochures from PoolSafely.gov. It could save a life.