Backyard barbecues and pool parties are summer staples that most of us look forward to after a long winter of being cooped up in the house. But the pools, trampolines and swing sets that are meant to make summer fun can quickly become backyard bummers if you're not prepared. Taking simple steps to protect your family and visitors from outdoor accidents can help you rest easy at your next summer bash.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning. As a homeowner and pool owner, you can take simple steps to prevent deaths and injuries.
The first and most important rule of pool safety is creating a barrier. There should be a fence around the pool with self-closing gates and locks for the doors that enter the pool area to help keep children from wandering into the pool area unattended.
In addition to the fences or other barriers required by many towns, consider creating several "layers of protection," such as alarms and safety covers to secure the pool and pool area when not in use.
Homeowners should post pool rules and strictly enforce them with guests. Keep a first aid kit nearby, as well as a ring buoy and reach poles. Know how to shut off filters and pumps, and post instructions nearby for others in case of emergency.
If you own a pool, have your family members learn basic water rescue skills, including first aid and CPR, and get your children swimming lessons as early as possible. Having a backyard pool makes this a vital and important safety skill.
To keep trampoline jumpers from falling off, all trampolines should have a net and pads. Only allow one jumper at a time to prevent injuries. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most trampoline injuries occur when there are multiple individuals jumping at a time.
Regularly inspect your trampoline to check for tears, rust or missing parts, and be sure to supervise children who use the trampoline at all times.
Swing Sets and Playgrounds
Take special measures to keep your backyard swing set safe for children by regularly maintaining the equipment. Check for rusted or protruding bolts, cracked swings and slides, broken ropes and open hooks.
Playgrounds should be installed on soft surfaces, like rubber mulch or tiles, to help insulate falls and prevent injury.
Adult supervision is always recommended for kids playing on playground equipment.
Are You Covered?
Regular maintenance for backyard property is an essential part of preventing injuries. Homeowners should also talk with their insurance representative about the types of coverage they have for accidents and injuries that take place on their property. Adding an umbrella policy can be an affordable way to reduce your vulnerability.
Tim Harris is agency vice president at COUNTRY Financial® and is based in Oregon. For more simple steps to help protect yourself and your investments, visit countryfinancial.com.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of RISMedia.