(Family Features) Warmer weather brings leisurely days spent poolside with friends and family. As you get ready to dive in to another season of fun in the sun, remember that safety comes first.
With more than 10 million residential pools across America, the opportunities for water recreation right at home are plentiful. But so, too, are the chances of water-related mishaps.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States. Children are particularly at risk; one in five drowning victims is age 14 or younger. However, dedicating appropriate attention to your family pool’s maintenance and ensuring you have created an environment of safety will let you enjoy swimming and splashing with greater peace of mind.
“Pools are a great source of enjoyment for families, and with proper supervision and care, the entire family can confidently dive in to hours of fun,” said Joe DeFuria, Brand Manager of BioGuard. “Taking time early in the season to brush up on this important information will help keep everyone safe all summer long.”
The CDC cites “lack of swimming ability, lack of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, lack of close supervision while swimming” as some of the leading risks associated with drowning. Preventive efforts such as learning to swim (or teaching swimming skills), ensuring at least one person with CPR training is present when the pool is in use and having proper safety devices (e.g., life vests and preservers) readily accessible help reduce injuries and accidents.
Put these measures in place so you can enjoy the fun at hand, without the worry:
1. Designate a “lifeguard.” Always pick at least one responsible adult to monitor children at all times.
2. Know CPR: Before investing in a pool, be sure to take a CPR class. The faster CPR can be administered to a person in distress, the stronger the long-term outcome.
3. Keep your water clean: Pool safety also includes keeping the water clean and sanitary for your family. Invest in the proper tools, such as the pool care systems from BioGuard, to keep your waters crystal clear.
4. Enroll kids in swimming lessons: Teach the skill of swimming to children at a young age. Enroll kids in classes to learn the basics and avoid accidents.
5. Teach the parts of a pool: Show children where to locate the drains, pipes and other pool openings. Explain the importance of avoiding these areas while swimming as they can cause harm.
6. Keep an eye in the sky: Storms can strike at any time in the summer. Be aware of the current weather and the day’s forecast before you jump in for a swim.
7. Don’t rely on toys: Swimming noodles, inner-tubes and other inflatable pool toys do not take the place of a life jacket.
8. Keep a phone close: Always keep a cell phone or portable phone with you while supervising kids in the pool.
9. Keep your pool tidy: Keeping your pool toys and other clutter picked up after use will not only help prevent trip-and-fall accidents, it will also be less tempting for unwanted pool guests to engage in unsafe activities on your property.
10. Fence it up: Keep uninvited guests and potential accidents away from your pool property by installing a four-foot or taller fence along with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
Pool Maintenance Essentials
Pool owners understand the importance of keeping it clean all season long. The experts at BioGuard provide these tips to keep your pool looking its best for family and guests:
- Make waves. Constant water movement helps prevent bacteria and algae from growing and ensures that the pool sanitizer is evenly distributed throughout the entire pool. Circulating pool water during the day for at least 12 hours also helps the filter catch debris.
- Check that filter. Backwash filters periodically and chemically clean filters a minimum of twice a season.
- Scrub-a-dub. Brush and vacuum pool walls once a week, even if you use an automatic pool cleaner, or hire a service.
- Test the waters. Every pool needs to be tested for the correct pH and sanitizer levels every week. Have a thorough water analysis performed by a professional every month.
- Keep that water treatment going. The right water treatment plan will both maintain pool equipment and keep the water inviting. For instance, the SilkGuard Technology in BioGuard’s Silk sanitizer line makes pool water feel soft and smooth on skin while also preventing corrosion and protecting equipment.
For additional pool care tips and to find a local BioGuard dealer, visit www.bioguard.com.
Pool Care Doesn’t Get a Vacation
If a getaway is on your agenda this summer, plan ahead to ensure your pool is as pristine and inviting when you return as the day you leave.
Work with a local pool care professional to create a vacation maintenance plan that matches your pool’s specific needs and takes into account how long you’ll be away.
Before you leave, clean the pool thoroughly, brushing and vacuuming walls and floors. Test the water and correct any imbalances. Set the timer or enlist the help of a trusted friend or neighbor to ensure the pump runs a minimum of eight hours each day while you’re gone.
Upon returning home, have a professional water analysis performed to ensure that your pool is properly balanced and ready for swimming.
Saltwater Pools Are Making Waves
Did you know saltwater pools are the hottest trend in new pool construction? According to an article from Pool and Spa News, today there are about 1.35 million saltwater pools in the United States.
What's the difference between chlorine and saltwater? While both pool types clean the water with chlorine, saltwater pools also require a salt generator cell and a stabilizer to keep waters properly sanitized.
Why do customers choose saltwater over chlorine pools? Some feel saltwater is less harsh on the skin and eyes than traditional chlorine pools. However, saltwater pools require additional maintenance to avoid corrosion and to ensure chemical levels are in balance.
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