The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that almost 300 children under the age of 5 drown in swimming pools each year and thousands more are injured.
One of the organizations that knows how to protect our children from such accidents is NSF International.
NSF International helps protect you by certifying products worldwide and writing internationally-recognized standards for food, water and consumer goods. As an independent, not-for-profit, global public health and safety organization, NSF is committed to improving human health and safety worldwide.
Here are some safety tips for pool and spa owners from NSF International:
Small children require constant adult supervision around pools and spas. There is no substitute for the watchful eye of caring adults.
- Never use a pool or spa that has a broken or missing drain cover. If family or friends have pools that your children visit or you swim at a public pool, check for properly attached drain covers and instruct children to keep away from the drains.
- In addition to being correctly installed, drain covers and grates should meet current anti-entrapment standards set forth in the Pool and Spa Safety Act to help prevent body parts and hair from becoming trapped. Covers that meet these standards will display ANSI/APSP 16 or ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 on the cover’s exterior. Download our Hazards of Pool & Spa Drain infographic for more information.
- Make sure you know if anyone using your pool is a non-swimmer, especially the children.
- Establish and enforce rules for pool and spa use. Don’t allow kids to run or play games near the pool. Keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheeled toys, away from pools, as children playing with these could accidentally fall into the water.
- Install a certified barrier or pool alarm to help prevent unauthorized persons from entering the area surrounding your pool or spa. Wristband alarms are also available to alert parents if a child should accidentally fall into the water.
- Keep your pool and spa properly sanitized and maintained. Use pool treatment chemicals safely and always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Store chemicals in a cool, dry area out of the reach of children.
- Make sure that an emergency shut-off switch for the pump is installed nearby and that it is easily accessible. Everyone should know where these switches are located and how to use them.
- Check local building codes to ensure the fence surrounding your pool meets minimum type and height requirements. Gates leading to the pool area should have a self-closing and self-latching mechanism to prevent unauthorized entry.
Drain standing water from the surface of pool and spa covers, as small children can drown in even the smallest amount of water. Always remove covers completely before using a pool or spa.