Preparing Your Pool for Summer
The weather is starting to warm up, and the scorching days of summer are just around the corner. The long, hot days of summer vacation are the perfect time for your family to stay cool and have fun in the pool. By taking care in preparing your pool for the transition to swimming season, you can ensure a safe and relaxing environment for you and your kids to splash away the heat.
Inspect Your Pool and Equipment
While it’s a smart idea to have a professional pool inspector perform a thorough annual safety inspection, there are a few simple things you can do on your own to get started. Completely drain the pool cover after removing to avoid creating puddles of standing water, and then store it in a secured location. Inspect and test all drains and filters to make sure they’re unclogged and running. Testing your pool’s water with a home kit will help you maintain a chemical balance that’s safe for your whole family – a healthy pool requires properly balanced chlorine and pH levels to prevent bacteria and diseases. Test your pool’s water regularly, but be sure to keep all chemicals stored out of the reach of children.
Make Sure All Safety Equipment is Functional
Immediately replace any equipment that isn’t fully functional. Test the gates and fences around your pool to make sure they latch properly and all alarms are working. Check all floatation devices to ensure that buckles and straps are in good condition and the devices are still the appropriate size for all family members. Remember: not all safety equipment is one-size-fits-all. Emergency equipment such as floating rings and Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices (PFDs) are available in a variety of sizes to fit every family member from infants through adults (floaties or water wings, while helpful in teaching young children to swim, are not effective in protecting against drowning).
Prepare for Emergencies CPR
Knowing CPR could make the difference in saving a life in a pool-related accident. The start of the summer pool season is the perfect time to learn these invaluable life-saving techniques or to refresh your skills from last season. Contact the Dallas YMCA for information about CPR classes for every adult and teen in your family.
Remind Kids of Safety Rules
As you inspect each area of your pool to prepare it for the summer, use the opportunity to teach (or re-teach) your kids about important pool safety rules. While inspecting safety equipment, teach them how to properly use floatation devices to save themselves or others in an emergency. Remind them of the importance of using ladders and diving boards responsibly and safely, being aware of and avoiding drains and pipes, and letting an adult know right away if anything in the pool is loose or broken.
For more information on preparing a safe pool environment for your family this summer, visit the Dallas YMCA’s Know Before You Go site or contact your local branch for information on swimming lessons and free swimming assessments.