Keep your children and neighbors safe around the pool this summer

Backyard pools can be a great way to keep kids entertained during the summer months. But with a home swimming pool comes the responsibility to ensure the safety of children. Whether you have a summer-only above-ground pool or an in-ground model, here are some poolside rules that can help keep children safe:

Erect a fence around the pool. Aim for a childproof barrier at least four-feet high, without any handholds and footholds that would enable the child to circumvent it. Vertical slats should be four inches wide or less, so that children cannot squeeze through them. A self-closing gate with an automatic lock adds an additional measure of safety. Do your children spend time at a friend or family member’s house with a pool? Make sure they have these safety measures in place too.

Use a pool cover.  During the off season, pool covers keep out bugs and creepy crawlies, along with uninvited guests. The covers should be tightly harnessed across the expanse of the swimming pool. Ensure there are no exposed gaps, and the cover should conform to weight-bearing standards. Pool covers are available as both mesh nets and solid, waterproof materials.

Clear away clutter. Police the area frequently, removing any toys or other objects that could pose harm to children. A child’s accidental fall may trigger legal ramifications, particularly if preventable tripping hazards were present.

Maintain extreme vigilance. Adult supervision is the best and most effective barrier against accidents. Even leaving the premises for a few minutes could mean the difference between life and death for a child. Adults also can reinforce non-negotiable pool rules, such as no running or diving. And don’t forget: Children can drown in even a small amount of water, some have even died in hot tubs.

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