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Reduce Distractions: Essential Water Safety Awareness & Drowning Prevention Tips

Man Submerged in Pool

Staying alert and focused while you’re around the pool this summer is vital to drowning prevention and water safety awareness. But in an age of constant distraction, it can be hard to stay focused. With that in mind, we put together some life-saving tips to keep you focused on supervising kids, family, and loved ones around the pool.

Essential Tips for Child Drowning Prevention

To ensure you stay focused, keep these tips in mind:

  • Give Kids Your Complete and Undivided Attention: If you’re the designated lifeguard/pool supervisor when the kids are swimming, ensure you never take your eyes off of them. Limit or refrain from cell phone use completely.
  • Wear Life Jackets: Young children, even if they’re actively taking swimming lessons, should be encouraged to wear life jackets as much as possible.
  • Don’t Let Kids Swim Alone: Never let kids swim alone. Always try to implement a buddy system so that no kid goes unaccounted for.
  • Learn CPR: This is among the best life-saving tips we can recommend in terms of drowning prevention. Check your town’s local fire or health department’s websites or forums for CPR classes.
  • Exercise Caution Around Pool Drains: Pool drains can be dangerous, especially for young and inexperienced swimmers. Ensure your kids understand that they should swim far away from pool drains.
  • ALWAYS Check the Pool First if a Child Goes Missing: This goes without explanation, and should be practiced in tandem with never leaving kids unsupervised around the pool.
  • ALWAYS lock your pool fence and gate: Lock up your pool fence and cover the pool when it’s not being used.

Avoid Distractions Around the Pool

IPad by the Pool

When it comes to drowning prevention and water safety awareness, it’s getting increasingly difficult to stay focused. Parties, drinking and swimming, and even just casual days by the pool can bring their fair share of distractions. If you’re supervising kids around the pool, ensure you’re aware of these common distractions:

  • Cellphones: These are by far the most distracting devices each of us interacts with on a day to day basis, even if we’re not trying to stay safe by the pool. According to research firm DScout, most people touch their phones a whopping 2,617 time every day. This doesn’t even account for people who have to supervise kids around a pool. That’s why it’s imperative for drowning prevention that you minimize or eliminate cell phone use whenever you’re around your pool.
  • tablets, radios, and other electronic devices: While not as addictive as cell phones, these personal devices still constitute some pretty big distractions, especially if you’re using them with headphones or earbuds. It may seem like common sense, but any electronic devices that eliminate your ability to see and hear clearly are immediately dangers to drowning prevention.

A Safe Pool: Your Go-To Resource for Water Safety Awareness

A Safe Pool is an industry-leading resource for parents and families seeking the best custom pool safety and maintenance equipment. We have over 15 years of expertise installing:

  • Pool safety fence featuring self-closing, self-latching, and lockable gates
  • Pool safety nets
  • Automatic pool covers
  • Pool safety mesh covers
  • Leaf covers
  • Pool alarms

All of our products are backed by unmatched expertise and knowledge, and we’re confident that you’ll find all of the equipment you need to keep your family safe. We aim to help owners create pools and outdoor spaces that are as safe as they are fun, and this starts by having the best fencing and covers to prevent drowning and injury.

If you’d like to learn more about drowning prevention and water safety awareness, read our blog and shop our collection of pool safety products

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Essential Overview: Arizona’s Pool Laws & Safety Requirements

Pool Closed Sign

As one of the warmest states in the US, Arizonans are blessed with pool weather pretty much all year long. But with that blessing comes a great responsibility to home and pool owners statewide. Arizona’s pool laws are fairly strict, and with good reason. Pool fence regulations help ensure families stay as safe as possible.

Although, it can be kind of challenging to understand every single detail and requirement of the state’s laws. That’s why we put together this handy overview of the state’s specific pool fence and enclosure gate requirements.

Arizona Pool Laws

Arizona pool laws are governed under Statutes Title 36, specifically: Public Health and Safety § 36-1681. Pool enclosures; requirements;  exceptions;  enforcement. These are the state’s primary pool fence regulations that specify measurements for enclosures and gates leading to above and in-ground swimming pools.

According to Title 36,

  • A. A swimming pool, or other contained body of water that contains water eighteen inches or more in depth at any point and that is wider than eight feet at any point and is intended for swimming, shall be protected by an enclosure surrounding the pool area, as provided in this section
  • B. A swimming pool or other contained body of water required to be enclosed by subsection A whether a belowground or above-ground pool shall meet the following requirements:

Before we go further, we should clarify that under Arizona pool laws, these two subsections provide a definition of swimming pools that require pool fences or surrounding enclosures.

What are the Pool Fence Regulations in Arizona?

Arizona’s pool laws and fencing regulations are listed under Subsection B, Title 36:

  1. Pools must be entirely enclosed by walls at a minimum of five feet tall. These may be fences or other barriers.
  2. Fences, barriers, and enclosures must have no openings through which a “spherical object four inches in diameter can pass.” Horizontal parts of the enclosure must be spaced no less than 45 inches apart vertically. Wire mesh or chain link fences must be sized, at a maximum, for chain links measuring 1.75 inches across.
  3. All gates for pool fences and enclosures:
    • Must be self-closing and self-latching. The latch must be at least 54 inches above the ground. Or, the latch must be on the pool side of the fence gate with a release mechanism that is at least 5 inches below the gate’s top.
    • Pool gates must open outward from the pool area.
  4. The pool wall, fence, or barrier must not contain openings or anything that enables accessibility over the enclosure.
  5. Pool fences and enclosures must be at least 20 inches from the edge of the pool water.

If Your House Opens Directly Onto the Pool

Title 36, Subsection C of Arizona’s pool laws dictate the requirements for pool fences if your house forms at least one of the enclosure walls:

  • You must use the protection of a pool safety cover. This cover must be one that is operated by a key switch.
  • Exterior doors with access to your home’s pool area must have self-latching equipment. Locks or self-latching equipment must still abide by Title 26, Subsection B (e.g. latching equipment at least 54 inches above the ground.)
  • Above-ground pools must not have any physical climbing aids other than ladders. Above-ground pools must not have exteriors that are climbable.

Pool Safety Equipment in Compliance With Arizona’s Pool Laws

For over 15 years, A Safe Pool has been a trusted resource with industry-leading pool safety equipment and maintenance products. We produce:

  • Removable pool safety fences featuring self-closing, self-latching, and lockable gates in compliance with Arizona’s pool laws.
  • Pool Safety Mesh Covers and Safety Nets
  • Automatic Pool Covers
  • Pool Alarms
  • Leaf Pool Covers

We’re proud of our unmatched expertise and insight into a wide range of products, and we’re confident that our equipment will keep you and your family safe.

For more tips on installing pool safety equipment in compliance with the state’s pool safety regulations, read our blog and shop our line-up of pool safety products.

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How to Get in The Pool Safely

Whenever you get in the pool, that rush of cool, refreshing water just can’t be beat. However, pool entry is an aspect of water safety and caution that you can’t afford to disregard. Whether you’re a beginner, a diving expert, or you’re just supervising the kids during a barbecue, it’s vitally important to exercise good safety rules whenever you or anyone else gets in and out of a swimming pool.

Pool Entry Ladder

How to Get in the Pool as Safely as Possible

Here are some basic tips to help you enter any pool safely:

  • Don’t dive in head first unless you can accurately gauge the pool’s depth.
  • Use designated entryways such as steps or ladders if available.

Whenever you get in the pool, it’s important to identify which is the deep end and which one’s shallow. In most residential swimming pools, this will be easy to tell. And if you’re down at your town’s rec center or country club, these types of public pools will usually have proper signage and markers that will indicate water depth. If for whatever reason you’re unable to gauge how deep the water is, never dive in head first!

Which Pool Entry Should You Use?

Beginners and pros alike should always consider which pool entry methods to use. In most cases, you should practice good common sense. These are the most common ways to get in the pool:

  • Step in using the pool steps
  • Sitting swivel entry
  • Jumping entry

If you’re at a summer party and there’s a fair bit of swimming and drinking, don’t be overly confident in your ability to execute a perfect dive. If anything, using the poolside steps will always be your best bet. Jumping is also fine. Just be sure to accurately gauge depth and ensure you have as much balance as possible as any misstep could result in an injury on the bare concrete or tile surrounding a pool. If you want to play it safe, a sitting swivel pool entry off of a pool ladder is one of the most common and cautionary ways to get into a pool.

Our Beginner’s Guide to Diving and Getting Into the Pool Safely

For anyone who’s new to diving, it’s best to follow some basic safety guidelines. To that effect, The Red Cross has some more great tips for save diving and pool entry:

  • Always be on the lookout for underwater ledges and other obstructions. These may be hard to gauge from above the water’s surface. However, ledges may be incredibly dangerous for anyone diving in headfirst.
  • Always dive from designated equipment, such as diving boards which are generally placed in the deepest parts of a pool.

The Components of a Basic Dive

To get in the pool using a basic dive, it’s important to have the basics down. According to the Red Cross, these are the four components of a basic head first dive:

  • The starting position
  • The propulsion, or “takeoff”
  • The flight, or “trajectory”
  • The entry into the water

Using one’s legs and feet in a stable, starting position is the key to any good dive. From there, you can employ any number of forms during propulsion (Just watch any summer olympic games to see how detailed and fancy these can get!) However, when you’re just starting out, it’s best to have your body at an angle, with your hands pointed perpendicular to your head. This ensures your body is relatively aerodynamic after propelling yourself off the diving board and to get in the pool water without belly-flopping.

Bonus Safety Tip: Use Pool Enclosures When You’re Done

Whenever you’re done diving and swimming for the day, always ensure all your kids are present and accounted for and lock up the pool area when you’re done. To comply with Arizona state pool laws, make sure your pool enclosure area has a sturdy pool fence, specifically one with a self-latching and self-lockable gate. Also, ensure you use a pool safety cover when the swimming pool isn’t being used.

Life-Saving Pool Entry & Safety Tips at A Safe Pool

At A Safe Pool, we’re proud to have over 15 years of expertise and professional insight, installing the best custom pool maintenance and safety products, all backed by long-lasting quality, product knowledge, and comprehensive warranties.
We want to help pool owners everywhere create the safest and most relaxing recreational spaces. This starts by having the safest equipment your family can rely on. For more tips on getting into the pool and swimming safely, read our blog. Explore our industry-leading line-up of pool safety products today.

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A Sober Summer: Mitigating the Dangers of Alcohol Near the Pool

Beer cup & pool

Pools and warm, summer weather are synonymous with parties. Whether you’re having the neighborhood over for a barbecue or you’re a fan of all-out blowouts on the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, swimming pools are great gathering places for friends and family. But it’s important to note that drinking and swimming don’t exactly go hand in hand. When it comes to summer parties, you should always establish some basic water safety rules.

The Dangers of Drinking and Swimming

Did you know that alcohol contributes to at least 20% of all adult deaths due to drowning each year? For young adults between 15 to 29 years old, that number climbs as high as 41%.

These are a few of the reasons that drinking and swimming is so dangerous:

  • Impaired Judgment: Alcohol may loosen inhibitions, but that’s because it affects the part of the brain that gauges risk. This can be quite dangerous when it comes to pool safety.
  • Impaired Reactions: Alcohol seriously impairs motor skills and reduces one’s ability to react quickly.
  • Reduced Coordination: Along with lowered and loosened inhibitions and reduced motor skills, alcohol also decreases one’s ability to stay coordinated. This can contribute to potentially deadly slips and falls.
  • Lowers the Effectiveness of CPR: Because alcohol causes blood to thin, it can lower how effective CPR is if resuscitation is necessary.

What Alcohol and Swimming Does to the Human Body

Anyone drinking and swimming should also know how alcohol alters the human body:

  • Inner Ear Imbalance: Fluid in the human ear determines balance. Alcohol reduces the ear’s ability to maintain this fluid balance.
  • Vocal Cord Spasms: Water in the windpipe triggers a closing reflex, reducing the body’s ability to breathe.
  • Hypothermia: Typically, cold water, even if it’s not freezing, will trigger the body’s natural reflex to draw blood away from the extremities and limbs and focus on vital organs. This prevents heat loss. However, alcohol prevents this natural response, increasing the likelihood of hypothermia as the body won’t register numbness.

Water Safety Rules for Parties and Events Around the Pool

Although the safest thing to do would be to refrain from drinking and swimming entirely, there are still ways you can have a good time without risking serious injury.

  • Stay Out of the Deep End: If you’re drinking and swimming, stay towards the shallow end of the pool. This reduces your risk of drowning substantially.
  • Wait a While After Drinking: Depending on how much you’re drinking, one single beverage takes about an hour to two hours to metabolize. If you’re at a party having multiple drinks in one sitting, it’s best to wait until the most disinhibiting effects of alcohol have subsided before you decide to take a dip.
  • Watch What You’re Drinking: In terms of alcohol percentage, you’d be hard pressed to find a can of beer that’s even close in alcohol content to grain liquor or vodka.
  • Watch Your Body Temperature: If you’re swimming and drinking, keep in mind our point about hypothermia. Under the influence of alcohol, your body won’t register heat the same way it does when you’re sober. Try to limit the amount of time you spend in cold water.

Say No to Swimming and Drinking

At A Safe Pool, our mission is to help pool owners, their friends and family enjoy swimming pools as safely as possible. We produce industry-leading removable pool fences, pool safety nets, and pool covers. For more water safety rules and tips, read our blog.

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CPR and First Aid Training: Why it’s Your Responsibility as a Pool Owner

Safety Signage

No municipality holds public pools and private/residential pools to the same compliance standards, which is a good thing. Holding pools in the public and residential domains to the same requirements would expose all pools to rules that lacked contextual validity. But one element of compliance that is ethically sensible for all pools is the provision of first aid at the pool site.

At public pools, first aid such as CPR and basic treatment of limb injuries are required skills for lifeguards, who certify in CPR and first aid to gain their official title. Residential pools lack the same requirements. But we contend that CPR skills and pool first aid are an ethical necessity for all pool owners.

As a pool owner, certifying can benefit more than pool occupants; it can be advantageous for homeowners, too. Let’s look at three compelling reasons to make it your “responsibility” to have CPR and first aid training under your belt if you own a residential pool.

1. Private Pools are not Inherently Less Injury-Related

Because public pools consistently host more guests than private pools, it’s not surprising to find that they experience a higher incidence of injuries that require CPR and other crucial types of aid. However, when the statistics are interpreted on a per capita basis, neither is it surprising to discover that, in any given location, a private pool is a stage for the same types of injuries, but on a scale that’s in keeping with the lower number of people who use the pool.

Misperception Due to Statistical Incidence

Overall, incidents that necessitate aid at public pools are largely the same as events that require it in private settings, including: limited swimming ability that leads to loss of consciousness due to submersion, slip and fall injuries due to running on slick surfaces near the pool, injuries due to improper use of pool implements (e.g., diving boards and ladders), and serious health events indirectly related to pool use, such as heart attacks and seizures.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-boat related drownings are the fifth-leading cause of unintentional death in the nation — a statistic that doesn’t delineate between unintentional drownings at public pools and private ones.

Misperception Due to Monitoring Capability

Owners of private pools can often monitor the small number of swimmers in their pools more easily than lifeguards can oversee the far greater number of swimmers who routinely crowd public pools. But it’s important to note that the actions of adult swimmers — not the degree to which a pool owner monitors the pool — is the main variable for injuries requiring pool first aid.

When proper monitoring fails to prevent injuries, responsive first aid may be all that prevents some injuries from becoming serious. As the homeowner, you could be held liable for a pool-related injury that occurs on your property. So it’s sensible to provide first aid and water safety measures to help deter injuries that require it, such as a residential pool safety barrier from A Safe Pool.

2. You Could be Held Liable for Injuries at Your Pool

Residential pool owners should implement a pool safety barrier for two reasons: to protect children and other individuals at high risk of drowning; and to protect themselves from legal liability for injuries to others who may use the pool without permission or use it carelessly. For the same reasons, it is advisable to take responsibility for offering pool first aid to injury victims.

With that said, you may be wondering: if a stranger trespasses into my pool and gets injured, should I really to rush to his aid, when his motives are uncertain, and he entered illegally to begin with?

Based on information freely offered on websites for law firms that defend homeowners against pool liability claims, the answer is no. When an injured trespasser is an adult, it is usually he — and not the pool owner — who faces an uphill legal battle, when he files a liability lawsuit.

But the same law firms often claim that, if the injured trespasser happens to be a child, the pool owner is almost certain to be held liable for the injury. Consequently, treating a child with pool first aid that saves his life could mean the difference between facing a wrongful death suit and facing a personal injury suit. Of the two, the latter generally requires a homeowner’s pool liability insurance to pay an appreciably lower settlement amount to the plaintiff.

Sometimes, first aid and the water safety it helps increase — a post-factum safety that mitigates the effects of an injury instead of preventing it — benefits both the homeowner and the injured. If you hold yourself responsible for personal finances, it’s sensible to assume responsibility for providing pool first aid to a child, whose injury results from trespassing.

However, as you would do if an adult trespassed, promptly notify police by calling 911. This won’t get the child into big trouble, but it will help invalidate any claim that you mistreated a minor. Because this accusation could be used to add an “egregious” legality to the child’s injury, which enriches the settlement, plaintiffs of poor character have been known to use it.

3. Injuries Can Become Fatal Before Paramedics Arrive

When a pool injury requires CPR, someone usually dials 911. While this should always be done, pool first aid that a homeowner provides, while paramedics are en route, could mean the difference between the injured recovering in the hospital and perishing at the pool site.

When a person has a life-threatening injury, “seconds count”, says the CDC. The Response Institute and CPR Consultants — an organization offering CPR training and consultation — elaborates on how those “seconds” are best spent: “Immediate, hands-on CPR performed by bystanders, until EMTs or other emergency personnel arrive to the scene, can make all the difference when it comes to preventing an unintentional death by drowning.”

The Simplicity of CPR as a Success Factor

When someone is pulled from a pool, just short of drowning, they are unconscious due to oxygen deprivation. This creates two critical deficits: a lack of conscious will to survive, and a lack of autonomic function to survive while unconscious. Being a property owner and defacto host of pool activities, the pool owner is responsible for providing aid, in the form of CPR.

If the situation has a silver lining, besides the lifesaving result CPR can provide, it lies within the CPR process itself. A highly finite process of repetition, which humans can perform with machine-like accuracy and efficiency, it’s simplicity is ideally suited to the main challenges posed by the urgency of the situation in which it’s performed: a narrow timeframe for success, no tolerance for error, and a potential deficit in focus that stress from these challenges can create.

Yet, despite the challenges, the success rate of CPR for “drowning survival” victims appears to be high. Some water safety consultancies report success rates of over 90% for victims, who received CPR from bystanders shortly after removal from the water.

Conclusion

First aid and water safety should be priorities for every pool owner, and to consider them your “responsibility” is the best way to provide them as responsively and thoroughly as possible. Because the ultimate goal of pool first aid is preventing fatalities, it’s also important to take proactive measures that deter injuries, in addition to taking reactive measures that help prevent injuries from becoming fatal.

One of the most effective proactive measures against unintentional drowning — especially for small children — is implementing a pool safety barrier from A Safe Pool. Take a look at our gallery of safety barriers, and consider which product would look and work the best at your pool site. Then, contact us to schedule a free estimate.

A Safe Pool knows that pool safety is a weighty responsibility for any homeowner to bear. That’s why we’re here to share it with you by providing solutions that reduce drowning risk.