We’ve all heard so many different statements when it comes to pool safety. Which of these statements are true? Of the statements that are false what is the actual truth? In this week’s blog, we tackle some of the common things you may hear when it comes to pool safety.
1. Pools in the backyard need only be fenced if it is an in-ground pool.
False. All pools, including home pools, should not be accessible to children. Ensure to install a fence with self-closing and self-latching gates. Call your local code enforcement officer about how to gain access to your swimming pool through a backyard.
2. It’s OK to swim alone in my pool.
False. Never swim alone! Swim with a friend and keep an eye on each other. On the other hand, parents should watch young children, regardless of a lifeguard or other people present.
3. As long as I am not jumping off a diving board and can see the bottom, diving in any water depth is safe.
False. Before you ever dive into any water check that the water depth is adequate. You need at least 8 feet of water depth in and around the area where you plan to dive.
4. Swimming or diving is unsafe after “a few” drinks.
True. Alcohol impairs your balance and judgment. It can also slow your reaction time. The effects of alcohol can increase with fatigue and summer heat.
5. You can sober up by swimming or getting into the water after an afternoon of drinking at the beach.
False. Only time will make you sober.
6. Non-swimmers are safe if they wear a bathing suit or use inflatables in the pool.
False. These devices are not life-saving devices. They often tip over or deflate. Also, non-swimmers should not get too deep into the water.
7. Children under five are the usual drowning victims at public pools and beaches.
False. Studies show that the most common drowning victims are males ages 15 to 25. Also, young children should be watched closely, regardless of a lifeguard present.
8. People with seizure disorders (epilepsy) can swim safely.
True, but people who have seizures submerge quickly and silently. So, they should only swim with someone who can help to assist. We do not recommend swimming for people with poorly controlled or uncontrolled seizure disorders.
9. Non-swimmers are always safe when they are in the shallow part of the pool.
False. Non-swimmers cannot go deeper than chest deep. Keep in mind that small children up to 42 inches tall are already more than chest deep in most pools in the shallow end.