Your Summer Guide to Pool Safety

After the recent heatwave in Colorado, Colorado Springs residents might be itching (or sweating) to buy a new pool. Swimming is one of the best ways to deter the harmful effects of heatstroke and heat exhaustion, two common heat-related illnesses that occur when temperatures crest 90 degrees. Colorado Springs reached highs of almost 100 degrees recently, but we're not out of the woods yet. According to the Weather Channel, Colorado Springs will see highs of up to 90 during the last few days of July and early August.

It makes sense that you'll want to take your whole family to the local pool — or even invest in one yourself. But if your pool isn't safe for children and pets, it's important that you make the necessary changes to ensure quality poolside living. Try out these helpful tips to improve your pool this summer.

Invest in a quality pool fence

Did you know that drowning is the number one leading cause of unintentional deaths for children under the age of four? Pool fences and gates are a great way to keep children and animals away from the water when the pool isn't in use. Even if your children know that they aren't supposed to go near the water without you, an eager child on a hot day can create a recipe for disaster.

"Often drowning is silent; it happens in 20 to 60 seconds," notes the executive director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Adam Katchmarchi. "Parents don't realize how quickly that can happen to their children."

Ensure that you buy a pool gate with a child-proof lock to prevent small children from entering the pool without supervision. If you have pets, getting a taller gate that your furry friend cannot jump over is also essential. Many people think that dogs are natural swimmers, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Smaller breeds, especially those with short snouts will have trouble swimming. Even though your puppy might not be able to jump over the gate, most puppies are considered fully grown by 18 months of age. Be sure to invest in a gate that's tall enough for your adult dog and not just a puppy.

Many homeowners should also consider investing in a slip-resistant coating for their pool deck or patio. Luckily, polyaspartic coatings and other similar measures can be completed in the span of one day. This gives your family ample time to enjoy the water without worrying about falling in.

Invest in a pool cover

Pool covers are becoming stronger and safer for families across the country. While most pool covers are designed to simply protect your pool from weather damage during colder months, a growing number of covers can help prevent children from drowning. In fact, using a combination of a cover and fence is one of the best ways to give homeowners peace of mind.

Check out chlorine alternatives

But it isn't just accidents or drowning that parents have to worry about; what you use to clean and treat your pool can also have significant repercussions on the health of your family.

For example, chlorine might be too strong or toxic for people with sensitive skin. It's thought that a pool which relies on ozone sanitation systems can reduce the need for chlorine by 90% or more. Some homeowners have also looked into the benefits of saltwater pools though a little more care may be needed to maintain this option.

Make the Pool Safety pledge

Not many parents may know about this program, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission actually heads the Pool Safety campaign for the entire country. The Pool Safety campaign, along with its website poolsafety.gov, is a government-funded initiative to let parents and community members know about risks associated with swimming in the pool.

You can contact a member of the campaign through their website, on their app, or by the phone. Luckily, 96% of organizations utilize cloud technology, meaning that your call will not go unnoticed, even if you have to leave a message. Even Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has signed the pledge to practice safe pool practices.

It is thanks to these safety precautions and state mandates like these that accidental pool deaths have decreased by more than two-thirds since the 1980s. While these numbers are promising, you never know when an accident could put your child at risk. Rely on these tips when you want to do all you can to protect the health and safety of your family.