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It’s (unofficially) summer! And with that, comes outdoor bbqs, family vacations, and lots of swim days.

Unfortunately the swim season is also when we start to see the headlines of tragic drowning incidents around the country. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children 1-4 and more than 80% of drowning fatalities occur in backyard swimming pools.

Here are the top 7 ways you can safeguard your home swimming pool to make sure your summer memories are happy and safe ones.

1. Supervise children closely

There is no better protection for children than active adult supervision. Never leave a child unattended, even near small amounts of water. Supervising adults should know how to swim and respond quickly in case of an emergency. If a child is missing, look in the pool first.

2. Install a pool fence

We know fences can be unsightly, but they are a huge deterrent for little ones going into the water unsupervised. Fence gates should be at least 4’ high and self latching and self closing. There shouldn’t be space or holes under the fence for kids to sneak under either. Remove toys and structures from the yard that kids could use to climb over the fence.

3. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use

Remove all pool noodles, floaties, squirt guns, etc. from the pool area once swim time is over. Toys left in and around the pool area can be a dangerous lure to little ones.

4. Remove ladders and access steps

Similar to toys, remove any ladders and access steps into the pool. This makes it harder for kids to climb into pools that require support and sends the message that swim time is over.

5. Install a pool alarm

Pool alarms can be used on swimming pool gates and fences or above the perimeter of the pool area. A unique alarm will sound when someone has entered the pool area or the water, alerting you of a potential danger. You can also set alarms for doors that lead to the pool.

6. Get your kids in swimming lessons

The CDC says participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children ages 1-4. If you have a pool, get your children signed up for either our Parent Tot or Private lessons so they can start learning valuable safety skills. There are plenty of skills you can start practicing at home right away.

7. Learn CPR

If you love hosting swim parties, make sure you learn CPR. Facilitating immediate CPR can double or triple the chances of survival after cardiac arrest. The longer the body goes without circulation, the lower the chance of survival is.

Keep your home and your loved ones safe this summer! Although the statistics on drowning are sobering, drowning is also completely preventable. Keep a close eye on children in your care and take the necessary steps to keep your pool guarded this summer.