Even if Michael Phelps shows up at your pool party, rules are rules. Neither he nor anyone else is invincible to the risks associated with water. Every year, 10 people die from drowning and even more sustain injuries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although it's not possible to stop water-related accidents entirely, most incidents are preventable, stated the CDC. Here are 6 rules that even Michael Phelps should follow when using the pool:
- No swimming without lifeguard on duty: This rule is written on a sign and stuck in the ground at the beach after a lifeguard's shift has ended for good reason. It's incredibly dangerous for people to play in water without anyone around regardless of age or experience. Someone should watch over the pool at all times when people are swimming, suggested the American Red Cross. If the group of swimmers is preschool age or younger, then someone should be in the water with them, within arms reach. A person can drown in the blink of an eye, which is why it's crucial to emphasize the importance of this rule among anyone who wishes to take a dip. To exercise better vigilance, adults should eliminate distractions, like the radio or magazines, when watching over the water.
- Establish boundaries for swimmers: In addition to keeping a close eye on the area, set boundaries for each swimmer. It's unlikely that everyone has the same aquatic capabilities, which means that some will be able to dive or wade in the deep end while others can't. Be clear about where children are able to play. Place physical barriers, like a rope, near the deep end and use markers to indicate the various depths. If someone in your family is eager to try out a new area in the pool, swim along side them until they've had proper swimming lessons to take them to the next level. If you think it's problematic to give each child a pool boundary, designate one part of the pool where everyone will be swimming.
- No running or horse play: Kids shouldn't run around, dive in the shallow end or do a number of things that compromise pool safety. Have a zero tolerance policy for this type of behavior because even if one person is horsing around, several could get hurt.
- Don't drink or allow it: Even if the pool party is a group of adults, you shouldn't let them drink around the pool. According to the CDC, 70 percent of deaths that involve water recreation are caused by alcohol. In addition to the risk of drowning, it can make a person become dehydrated in the sun and cause them to exercise poor judgment. This can lead them to hurt themselves in ways that don't involve water.
- No peeing in the water: Teach swimmers that it's not appropriate to use the bathroom in the swimming pool. Not only is it unsanitary, but it can be hazardous to whiz in the water. Urine can mix with chlorine and cause health complications, according to a new study by the American Chemical Society. The mixture can create gases that are harmful to the central nervous system, heart and lungs.Tell people where the restroom is when they arrive to encourage them to use it instead of the pool.
- Continue to learn about safety: Enroll family members in swim lessons and CPR courses. Someone who knows how to give mouth-to-mouth can make a big difference in the event of an emergency. There are always ways to improve swimming technique and safety.