The start of summer is just around the corner and families are already jumping into community pools in apartments around the Valley. As the Arizona summer heats up, more kids and adults will enjoy cooling down and getting some exercise at the pool. Safety around the pool must be the top priority for parents and those watching kids around water. Every summer, Arizona loses children to preventable drownings.
» Keep the pool gate closed and locked. Apartment community pools must have locked gates as barriers. These gates should have a lock on them. You may be tempted to keep the gate propped open to allow people in and out quickly. Most cities and towns also require that single family homes have a gate that latches.
» Designate a ‘Water Watcher.’ There’s no more important job than the “Water Watcher” around a pool. One adult must be watching kids around the pool. When there are lots of adults around water, it is easy to assume that everyone is keeping tabs on the kids.
» Keep a phone near the pool and know where the safety gear is. Community pools should have safety gear around the pool. When you arrive for your fun afternoon by the water, get familiar with where the throw rope and buoy are near the pool. It’s always a good idea to have a cellphone nearby.
» Enforce the ‘No Diving’ and ‘No Running’ rules. Most community pools have posted rules for safe behavior around and in the pool. Talk to your children about these rules and enforce them, especially because most pools do not have a lifeguard on staff.
» Check out city and nonprofit swimming lessons. One of the best ways to keep kids safe around water is to get them into swimming lessons or water safety classes. Adults can take CPR classes to keep their skills sharp.