While swimming pools can be great fun, they also require responsibility. You will enjoy your pool even more if you have peace of mind that comes with following some basic rules for swimming pool safety.

If you have young children and are considering purchasing a home with a swimming pool, many resources exist to help keep your children safe. The most obvious measure you can take is signing your kids up for swimming lessons. Consult your pediatrician regarding the best age to do this. Some will advise you to have your children learn as early as six months old. Other doctors feel it is better to wait until they are at least two years old. Ask your child’s doctor about the pros and cons of each approach. You can find swimming instructors at health clubs, or you may want to check your local listings for a private instructor to teach your child at home.

Another service available at health clubs and community centers is CPR instruction. Every adult and teenager in a home with a swimming pool should learn CPR. Although you can equip your home with a variety of other swimming pool safety measures, accidents may still happen. When properly performed, CPR can mean the difference between life and death should a non-swimmer fall into the pool.

You can do many things to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Safe swimming pools are equipped with at least one easily accessible floatation device. This can be a life preserver, inflatable raft, foam “noodle,” or other buoyant item that is easy to grab onto. Beach balls are hard to hold when wet and will not serve as life saving devices in an emergency, so be sure you have something more stable on hand. You should also check that your floatation device is always inflated.

Another way to ensure swimming pool safety is to install a privacy fence. Fences should be at least six feet tall and made of materials difficult to climb. Chain link fences should not be used. Make sure gates are locked whenever not in use.

If you have a baby or toddler, you may install child proof fencing directly into your pool deck around the perimeter of your pool. These fences are made of plastic or mesh that won’t obscure your view of the pool and still keep little ones from accessing it through the house.

Remember, no safety equipment or training can substitute for proper supervision. Always watch children at the pool. Many accidents can be prevented by the presence of an adult who enforces safe behavior. This way, you can relax and enjoy your swimming pool along with the young swimmers in your life.

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