The climate in many northern states offers limited access to outdoor pool facilities, generally from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Without the proper precautions and safety measures in place, swimming pools can be hazardous for both adults and children.
Many elements such as weather, temperature, rain, sunshine, oils, lotions, sweat and urine, etc., have an influence on water clarity and purity. It is important that regular inspections of the water and mechanical equipment be performed and recorded on a log in compliance with local or state requirements. A regular review of the maintenance and chemical treatment logs, combined with needed preventive maintenance adjustments, will assure a season of uninterrupted fun and enjoyment.
Pool Safety Considerations:
- There is no substitute for adequate supervision. The "buddy system" is always a good practice. Even good swimmers can drown if they bump their head, become entrapped, or have a medical emergency.
- Pools are an "attractive nuisance" and most state and local statutes require, at minimum, a four foot fence with a self closing and lockable mechanism on the gate.
- Pool rules should also be prominently displayed. Rules and regulations can be community specific and should always be board approved.
- Rescue equipment should be readily accessible and include a ring buoy, life hook and backboard. First aid kits should be visible and nearby.
- Alcohol consumption should be carefully controlled or prohibited in the pool area.
Chemical Storage Considerations:
- Store in a cool, dry, well ventilated area that is kept locked. Do not leave chemicals sitting in the sun or in an enclosed area in which heat builds up.
- Keep chemicals separate from each other and from other chemicals. Violent reactions such as explosions, fire or noxious gas production can occur. Never mix chemicals together.
- Do not stack chemicals containers on top of each other.
- Always replace lids and caps immediately and firmly after each use.
- Post Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) data and emergency information and telephone numbers near by.
- Never allow smoking around the chemicals; fire or explosion could result.
Facts and Statistics Considerations:
- 75% of drowning victims studied by the Consumer Product Safety Council were between 1 and 2 years old; 65% of this group were boys.
- Drowning incidents involving children happen quickly. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer a telephone. 75% of the victims had been missing for less than five minutes.
- Child drowning is a silent death; there is rarely splashing to alert anyone that there is trouble.
- Survival for a child or an adult depends on rescuing quickly and restarting the breathing process; seconds count in preventing death or brain damage.
Pools are a great way to socialize with neighbors and friends. Properly maintained and controlled pools can offer many hours of fun and games. Heed these considerations and enjoy!
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