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It’s that time of year again. The weather has heated up, schools are out for the Summer, and your pool is getting daily use. Follow a few simple rules and keep everything cool and safe this season.

Swimming can be a great way to spend time with your family and friends as well as get some much needed exercise, but how can you enjoy the perks of a pool while keeping your family safe?

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 77 percent of reported fatalities were in children younger than 5 years of age. Two-thirds of fatalities were boys under the age of 15.

This means extra vigilance needs to be taken with children who spend time around pools. There are a few simple tips that can help you avoid accidents.

The single most important issue is having adult supervision at all times. Never leave children unattended in or around a pool, not even for a few seconds. This is especially important when there are distractions, such as other guests, phone calls, or multiple children.

If you employ a babysitter, be sure that they know the importance of staying focused and alert around pools. Accidents happen quickly.

All adults and caregivers should also be trained in CPR. Your local Red Cross organization most likely offers classes. If you live in a remote area, then consider taking an online class.

All children should be trained in what to do in the case of an emergency. Sometimes only a child is present when an adult needs help. Show them the basics of using flotation devices as well as how to call 9-1-1.

Additionally, even young children can be taught to swim. Sign them up for community classes or if you are a swimming pro, you could take on the task yourself. Knowing how to swim is the first step in preventing drowning.

In order to deter children from playing in pools without permission, be sure that you have childproof locks on your doors that lead outside and that no toys are left in or around the pool area. Install a good pool cover. Perhaps best of all, install a safety fence and gate around your pool until children are of an age you can trust they’ll keep curiosity under control.

Not all safety tips are about children, though. Adults and teenagers should be careful to keep horseplay, running, and diving to a minimum. It’s also important that adults are careful to avoid mixing alcohol and pools. Impaired swimmers can be a danger to themselves and those around them.

Follow these simple steps and you’re on the way to a safe ... and fun ... Summer pool season!

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