Every year, the month of May is dedicated to bringing to light the dangers of swimming, the importance of water safety and the precautions everyone should take to protect themselves and their loved ones around the water. From home pools and spas, to water parks and resorts, to public swimming and water recreation facilities, everyone should be enjoying the refreshing water – but being “safety aware” is the best way to celebrate and enjoy!
The list of the benefits of swimming is a long one, from improved health to mental well-being, but with all of the joy and positivity it brings also comes responsibility. It is essential that through this responsibility we teach ourselves as well as our children to not only be safe in the water, but to respect the water as well. It is our mission at Pools by Bradley for everyone to enjoy their pool to its fullest, but most importantly, that it is enjoyed SAFELY for years to come.
Water Safety Rules When Enjoying Your Swimming Pool:
ALWAYS Supervise Children and Avoid Distractions
Children should never be allowed to swim unsupervised at any time. MedlinePlus (Health Information from the National Library of Medicine) reports that children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. This means that the pool is not the only concern – water structures or fountains are also a hazard to children. According to the CDC, children between the age of 1 to 4 make up the majority of accidental drownings in residential pools, with most parents reporting at least one of them had seen the child in the home less than 5 minutes prior. Adults in charge of supervising children should never turn away, get distracted – not even for a moment – and always remain alert and vigilant.
Technology has become a huge culprit in providing a constant distraction as it is always at our fingertips. National Water Safety Month serves as a reminder of just how distracting technology can be. In 2015 a mother lost her child to drowning because she was distracted by her phone. Again, constant, non-distracted supervision is the key to prevent these tragedies. You may think you’ll hear your child struggling in the water, but that’s not always the case. Signs of a struggling swimmer are typically silent and are easily unnoticed by those distracted by their phones. Turn off your phone or any other handheld technology that can cause distractions, lower the volume of the television or music so you can hear and always bring the swimmer with you if you need to leave the pool area.
Did you know that infants as young as 4 months old can take swim lessons? Starting your child in swim lessons early could save their life! Take, for example, former Olympian Bode Miller and his wife Morgan who tragically lost their 19-month old daughter, Emmy, to accidental drowning. They are huge advocates of infant swim lessons, sharing their tragic story with the world. Just recently they shared a video of their 6-month old son, Easton, during his infant swim lesson. In as little as 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week, these swim lessons will provide safety skills to your child they will benefit from for life.
Swim lessons are important for all young children when it comes to water safety. Pools by Bradley has recently partnered with the Volusia County (New Smyrna Beach) YMCA and the Seminole County (Lake Mary) YMCA to provide free swim lessons to children. For every pool sold in each county, Pools by Bradley will donate swim lessons to 2 children! Each child will receive 8 swim lessons total over a 2 week time period.
Install a Fence or Barrier
Just as you would install a baby gate on the stairs to prevent injury, installing a barrier or safety fence around the pool will drastically decrease the risk of injury to your children. The CDC also reports that 4-sided pool barriers installed in residential homes reduces a child’s risk of drowning by 83%! No access to the pool means the young children without the necessary water safety skills will not be able to get to the water when there is no proper supervision. It is required by Florida law that all new pool construction must meet at least one of the following requirements relating to pool safety features: (a) the pool must be isolated from access to a home by an enclosure that meets the pool barrier requirements; (b) the pool must be equipped with an approved safety pool cover; (c) all doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm that has a minimum sound pressure rating of 85 dB A at 10 feet; or (d) all doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor. This requirement can vary by municipality with some counties’ law calling for at least 2 of the requirements listed above to be met. Be sure to check your municipalities requirements!
The Buddy System
The buddy system is a good idea in many aspects of life, but especially smart (and fun!) when it comes to swimming. It means that no matter what, you’ll always have someone with you when you are swimming, regardless of if they are swimming as well. It’s an extra set of eyes looking out for emergencies and provides someone there with you in case you need help in the water. Even at public pools or beaches with lifeguards, a buddy can be considered your back up as the lifeguards are monitoring many people at once. The buddy system fits for swimmers of all ages as an emergency can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of skill level.
Pools by Bradley is Here for YOU
Everyone here at Pools by Bradley lives and breathes our mission of designing and building your ultimate outdoor pool atmosphere. We intend to inspire you to improve the recreational time you spend with your family and friends in your new outdoor environment. BUT – we especially want it to be safe and to emphasize the importance of water safety and teaching your family to respect the water! Our motto is “take care of the customer and everything else will take care of itself”. When you choose Pools by Bradley to help you build your dream pool, you can rest assured that you’re choosing the very best. As a local family owned and operated company founded in 1996, we have received numerous design awards and honors. Pools by Bradley is rated as one of the top 50 pool builders in the U.S., plus recognized as the “Best Pool Company” in Orlando by Orlando Magazine several years in a row! We offer custom built pools and spas with additions ranging from water features and lighting effects to rain curtains and water slides…the sky’s the limit! Contact us online or call us today at 407-323-7946 to see how we can help you build the pool of your dreams!