Memorial Day kicks off pool season, with community, private and residential pools opening their doors until Labor Day. Keep your kids safe this summer with the following precautions:

The Community Pool/Swim Club
In addition to protecting your kids from the sun with appropriate hats/sunscreen, your kids should never run by the pool, as it's usually very wet and slippery. As soon as possible, enroll your kids in swim lessons. Everyone should know how to swim -- especially little kids. Swim instructors will teach even the smallest swimmers how to float and propel themselves to safety. Lastly, listen to the lifeguards. They are CPR certified and there to protect you and your families!

Residential/Home Pools
If you live in a neighborhood with its own pool, there are additional precautions you'll need to take. First, check the pool's schedule and when/if there are lifeguards on duty. Make sure you know where the pool rescue equipment is located. Never let your kids swim unattended; if there aren't lifeguards, then you'll need to make sure someone certified in CPR is watching them. In fact, do yourself a favor and brush up on CPR skills at your local Red Cross! (And keep the distractions to a minimum while watching your kids. Everyone loves reading by the pool, but if you're acting as the lifeguard on duty, you need to keep your focus on your kids!)

Neighborhood pools make great places for summer parties. Alcohol and pools do not mix, so just remember to be safe! If you're having a party, hiring a lifeguard is always a good idea in order to enforce pool rules and keep everyone safe.

If you or your neighbor has a pool, there should be a locked gate surrounding it. A flotation device and informational CPR poster are also helpful to keep within sight. Keep the pool clean and within working order, as well.
When you install the pool, or if it's there when you move in, your homeowner's policy will contain additional pool coverage.
Because the insurance company is essentially taking on the financial risk of covering your pool and anything that might occur in or around it, they can set out certain requirements (such as a gate surrounding the pool) for you as part of the insurance contract. Failure to comply can result in refusal of coverage, so be sure that you are careful about keeping your pool at insurance company standards!

All that being said, pools are an awesome place to hang out during the summer, so have fun!

Photo credits: Julien Haler, Roger.

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