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Shopping for a swimming pool

When the summer rolls around and the air heats up, we all dream of having pools in our own backyard. However, before shopping for pools, it is important to be aware of safety issues. Make sure you are willing to take on the responsibility before you buy.

Do you have a lot of kids in your neighborhood? Pools are magnets for children! Be aware that if the pool is on your property, you may be liable for any accident that may occur. For safety reasons, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend installing pools until your children are at least 5 years old. While they are certainly a lot of fun, pools can also be hazardous if the owners don't take proper precautions.

Fences should be placed around pools to prevent accidental falls as well as uninvited guests. The fences should be at least 4 feet high and gated. Ideally, there should be latches and locks for when the pools are not in use. Ladders from above-ground pools should be removed when not in use.

All pools should be equipped with life preservers. Swimmers should always have a buddy, regardless of age; children in particular should not swim without adult supervision. Too many drownings occur in pools every year, and many of these could have been easily prevented. Many of these accidents occur in family-owned pools.

Another thing to think about before shopping for pools is the amount of time that goes into owning them. Pools need to be well maintained. They should be cleaned regularly, and checked for pH levels. Chemicals such as chlorine need to be stored in cool, dry, well-ventilated areas out of the sun, and they should be locked up when not in use. Covers should be kept on pools during long periods of non-use. This not only keeps swimmers out but also helps keep the pools clean.

Owners who follow simple safety guidelines can enjoy their pools without having to worry too much about catastrophes. Just remember that accidents can happen to anybody, and letting down your guard for just a moment may be long enough for that one tragedy to occur. With a responsible attitude and awareness, pools can be enjoyable for everyone.
Jeff Lakie is the founder of Swimming pool Resources a website providing information on Swimming Pools

Jeff Lakie