Summertime is swim time, and for the most part, it’s a full immersion into carefree fun. But without the right swimming pool safety practices, your residents could be at risk.
And when you consider the sheer number of pools and swimmers in North America, safety becomes even more important. Swimming is the most popular recreational activity for children and teens ages 7 to 17 in the U.S. They have ample opportunities, with 10.6 million pools in the country. In Canada, there are around 1.1 million pools. The most recent studies available place swimming as the third most popular sport of choice in that country, trailing only extremely popular mainstays like hockey and golf.
Clearly, swimming pool safety is paramount. Here are some tips to keep in mind all summer long.
1. Supervise children.
Ideally, your community pool is staffed with a trained and certified lifeguard. A good property management company can help you hire this professional, and they can assist with ongoing training, too. Remember that your busier pool hours may require multiple lifeguards.
If your community doesn’t have a lifeguard as part of the staffing mix, then be sure to institute a policy that all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Post signs and keep residents informed.
2. Education saves lives.
Whether you have a lifeguard or not, the more people trained in CPR and emergency response techniques the better. Sponsor community-wide educational opportunities in your condominium or master-planned community. Invite staff and residents to become certified in CPR, first aid and more. A community management company can be instrumental in helping you implement these programs.
3. Create better swimmers.
Have you considered hosting swim lessons in your community pool? This approach offers multiple advantages – the biggest being lives saved through better swimming skills. The secondary plus is that it’s a great way to get community members together so they can build neighborly rapport.
4. Make the rules – and enforce them.
Your pool rules should be clearly posted. It’s a good idea to prohibit diving and running, and to encourage residents to always swim with a friend. Don’t stop at posting these rules at the pool...your community website and newsletters are great places to share your policy, too. Consistent enforcement of these pool rules is essential to their effectiveness.
5. Enclosures are essential.
Make sure you’re familiar with your local laws regarding swimming pool enclosures. Most cities or counties will have very specific requirements for how far an enclosure is from the water’s edge, how the entrance gate should function, and more. Following these rules isn’t just a matter of compliance – it’s a matter of saving lives. Property management companies are well versed in the law, and they can help you make sure your pool meets these important requirements. If your community is self-managed, make sure you look up your local laws and regulations.
6. Maintenance matters.
The last thing you want during pool season is a malfunction or a breakdown. We have tips to help you avoid those headaches – just look here and here. Make sure your safety equipment is in good working order, and watch those chemical levels to make sure they’re adjusted for the season. Also, encourage residents to swim only when they’re healthy – community pools can be a place for viruses to spread.
For more community swimming pool safety, check out water safety and swim safety from the Red Cross.