Preparing for National Water Safety Month

May 2011 has been designated as National Water Safety Month, sponsored by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP), the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), World Waterpark Association (WWA), and the American Red Cross. DCS Pool Barriers, manufacturer and installer of a complete range of swimming pool barrier products, provides homeowners and commercial properties with pool fencing, gates and door safety mechanisms to help safeguard pools year-round. DCS offers the following pool safety tips from APSP and the International Swimming Hall of Fame:

The number one safety rule for families should be to establish rules about supervised pool use. Children should never be left unsupervised in or near the pool, and should be watched carefully by adults at all times. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone or run to get the sunscreen. Remember to ensure that babysitters understand the pool rules and the need for constant supervision. During social gatherings, have adults take shifts being the “designated watcher” of the pool area.

Although children should be taught water safety and swimming skills as early as possible, adults should never rely on these skills to keep a child water safe. Flotation devices or life preservers should also never be relied on to keep a child safe in the pool – supervision is a must at all times.

The professionals at DCS firmly believe that every home should have layers of protection when it comes to the pool. Doors that open to the pool area should be equipped with alarms, as well be self latcing which ensures that a sliding door will never be left open, allowing children unsupervised access to the pool. Sliding doors can also be fitted with safety latches that can be easily installed above child-level so kids cannot open the doors without adult assistance.

Pools should have permanent, galvanized steel pool fencing. High quality pool fencing can be customized so that it is not only durable and meets local pool barrier code, but will blend with the style of the home and property. This type of pool safety barrier is built to last, and can enhance property values. Gates on your pool fencing should close and latch automatically, and should never be left propped open. Patio furniture or other large objects should be far enough away from the fencing so that children cannot climb over the fence and gain access to the pool area.

Grandparents or homeowners with visiting children may opt for removable mesh fencing. DCS professionals caution that this type of fencing may not meet local pool barrier code, but it can be effective as a temporary solution for homeowners. Mesh fencing’s transparent look allows a clear view of the pool area at all times. When not needed, the fencing can be rolled up and stored out of sight.

Within pool fencing, DCS also recommends use of a pool safety net. These nets are held securely in place over the surface of the pool with pulleys and clips, and are easily removed when it’s time to swim. This is a secure barrier in preventing infants and toddlers from getting into the water when used properly. Obviously, to be effective it does require that the homeowner always replace the net after swimming.

This year, follow these pool safety tips to make this your safest summer ever. For more information on pool safety products and fencing, visit