Let’s talk numbers here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that drowning is the leading cause of death by unintentional injury in kids aged one to four. More than half of that number happens in their backyard swimming pools. It is the second-leading cause of death in kids between five and nine years old. Each year, more than 700 kids drown, and 6,000 experience non-fatal injuries in pools, oceans, bathtubs, streams, lakes, and other bodies of water.
So when designing your pool deck overlay, keep in mind that your children (or kids of your guests in the future) will be running around the pool. You have to make sure that you have safety precautions in place, especially if you love hosting backyard pool parties. Ask your contractor for the best non-slippery overlay for the pool deck.
You’ve surely read stories about kids accidentally drowning mere seconds after their parents have lost sight of them. It takes less than five seconds for a kid to drown. By the time you jump into the pool to save them, they would have already been lost. So if there’s one rule you should remember, it is this: keep your kids by your side at all times. If you have to fix things around the house, make sure your children have no access to the pool.
Talk About It
If you have a community pool, then talk about its safety during a council meeting. Don’t be afraid to open up such an important topic. Many people forego pool safety unless something terrible happens. You cannot wait for an accident to happen before you act. Talk about the importance of pool safety, and you’ll reduce the risk of accidents and deaths.
Talk to your kids about it, too. Trust them enough that they know what can happen if they ever jump into the pool without you. Make them aware of the consequences that might happen if they go into the pool without an adult.
Assign a Water Watcher
During backyard pool parties, make sure that there’s a water watcher. You can’t depend on the lifeguard alone. Nothing is as intuitive as a parent. Kids don’t splash around the water when they drown. Children drown silently and quickly. It’s not like in the movies, so you have to know what a child in distress looks like. Count the children in the pool and keep an eye on them while they swim and have fun. Pass the duty around but make sure to wear a water watcher tag so that everyone knows who’s in charge during that period.
Keep Distractions Away
What could be more distracting than your phone? You can have your eyes on the pool while talking to friends, but a phone is a different matter. The contents of your social media feed will engross you. Your eyes are going to be glued to your phone. You won’t even realize that someone has already drowned in your watch. If you are going to be the water watcher, keep your phone away from you. Your only goal is to watch the kids and nothing else.
Finally, install a fence around your pool. This will keep your children away. Make sure that the fence is locked all the time when the pool isn’t in use. Never let your guard down.