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School's out. The calendar tells us that summer is officially here. And if we need one more sign, it's that just about every backyard pool is ready for a season of fun.
Here at Mid-State, we're all for fun. But we're also about safety. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 390 children under the age of 15 drown each year in pools. Another 5,200 are injured. Of these, about 75 percent are children younger than five. The good news is that there are steps everyone can take to keep themselves, their families and friends safe during pool season.
Here are a few tips* for pool safety.
- Visit www.PoolSafely.gov or @PoolSafely on Twitter for some interesting and important safety information on child safety in and around pools and spas.
- Check with your city or town to make sure your pool meets safety standards as well as code requirements.
- Install fencing around the pool area to keep people from using the pool without your knowledge.
- Create other 'layers of protection' such as door alarms and locks to reduce the chance that a child will slip out of the house and into the pool undetected.
- Never leave small children unsupervised - even for a few moments. And don't leave toys in the pool as these can be irresistible temptations for toddlers.
- Be sure everyone who uses your pool knows how to swim. Children should have swimming lessons as early as possible. Learners should be accompanied by a good swimmer. and no one should be allowed to swim alone.
- Consider taking first aid and CPR training.
- Have a phone nearby - along with emergency numbers.
*These tips come from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Insurance Information Institute.
And while you're implementing these safety precautions, this is a good time to review your insurance coverage with your Mid-State Insurance representative. Do make sure we know you have a pool, and talk with us about whether you're carrying adequate insurance. You may also want to consider a personal umbrella policy that provides the kind of liability coverage you'd need if - despite all your safety precautions - a tragic accident should occur. And finally, especially if your pool is new or expensive, you'll want to be sure you're carrying enough insurance to repair or replace it if it should be destroyed by a hurricane, tornado, or other disaster.
And now that you've taken the necessary precautions, prepare, as they say at Mardi Gras, to "let the good times roll!"