If an emergency should happen, it’s so important that parents and families are prepared. After winter, chances are that you’re eager to open up the backyard pool for another summer. Whether you’ll be diving in or just dipping your toes over the edge, most people look at pool season as an opportunity for cheap, outdoor fun. Still, safety is important. Roughly 5,200 children are treated each year for spa and pool-related accidents.  Drowning (according to the CDC) is the number one cause of accidental death for children ages 1-4, swim safety experts, including those with ISR (Infant Swimming Response) encourage parents to learn CPR and to update their skills regularly.

Before you take that first dip, make sure you’ve taken the proper safety precautions to ensure that this summer will be enjoyable but, most importantly, safe. Below is a checklist of safety tips to review before summer kicks off.

Install a fence around your pool. To prevent kids from getting too close to the pool without supervision, install a fence and self-closing or self-locking gate around your pool or yard.

Keep your pool secure during off-hours. Although a fence will help with this, lockable safety covers on your pool or spa will ensure that kids can’t find their way into a pool without adult supervision. Look for door, gate, or pool alarms that will alert you of a problem.

Learn CPR.  CPR is one of those skill sets that, as parents, we should all have, yet pray we never need to use.  Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s important to be up-to-date on your knowledge of CPR for children and adults. CPR can help save a loved one’s life. Being able to administer CPR is a skill that anyone can master quite easily, and knowing what to do when the situation calls for CPR will give you added confidence and peace of mind.

For adults, “learning” CPR can make the difference between life and death. CPR is especially critical in cases of child drowning emergencies, because immediate restoration of oxygen to the child’s brain is critical. Refresh your memory every year by attending a Heartsaver First Aid/CPR/AED course. (Call or email usto schedule you and your family a class today. Check out our family and friends party under course descriptions)

Learn how to swim. It sounds basic, but many children (and even adults!) don’t know how to swim. Enlist your children in swimming lessons before summer starts, and encourage neighborhood children to do the same.

Get the right equipment. Before the season begins, build a pool safety toolkit that will include a first aid kit, a pair of scissors, a charged portable telephone or cell phone, and flotation device. Use these in the event of an emergency.

Keep children away from drains, pipes, and other openings. Hair and clothing can easily get caught in areas like these, which can be dangerous. Encourage children to play and swim away from these areas.

By following a few safety precautions, you can prevent a pool or spa injury. Still, accidents happen. Should an emergency situation occur, call for medical help immediately.