Making Swimming Pools Safe For Everyone is Easy

by Pool Builders on 04-27-2009 in Articles

Few things go together as well as the warm months of summer and swimming pools, but safety should always come first with swimming fun.

For children aged one to fourteen, drowning is the second-most common cause of accidental death. Safe Kids USA, a child safety advocacy group, reports that 280 children under 5 years old drown every year in swimming pools across the country.

But there are steps you can take to make sure your pool is a safe place for swimmers of all ages. Here are a few rules:

o Nothing is more important to the safety of a swimming child than the eyes of attentive parents.
o Keep a landline phone near the pool in case there is an emergency - unlike with cell phones, 911 operators will be able to instantly know the location of your the call.
o Make sure hot tub and pool covers are completely removed before swimming.
o No running around the pool!

The Right Equipment

It is important that you outfit your pool with equipment that will protect swimmers from drain entrapment, when happens when a swimmer becomes trapped by a pool or spa's drain suction. The force from a drain can be overwhelming if a swimmer becomes stuck.

But a new law called the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act addresses this: before opening in 2009, all public swimming pools are required to install approved safety drain covers, and all single-drain public pools are required to install anti-entrapment devices, such as a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) or automatic pump-shut-off device.

The covers, if properly installed, make it extremely difficult for a swimmer to become entrapped. And if someone does become entrapped, an SVRS and other anti-entrapment systems are designed to immediately and automatically break the suction pressure, releasing the swimmer. Though exact costs vary by region and by pool, it is estimated that proper safety drain covers and a back-up layer of protection cost around $1,500.

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