Pool safety 101

children playing in pool

Summer is in full swing! What better way to cool off than to invite some friends over and take a dip in the pool. Sounds fun, but owning a pool also comes with extra risks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 350 children younger than age 15 fatally drown in pools and spas each year. Additionally, from 2015 through 2017, an estimated average of 6,400 children younger than 15 years old were reportedly treated in hospital emergency rooms for nonfatal drowning injuries in pools or spas.

As a homeowner, you’re responsible for the safety of anyone on your property – whether they have your permission to be there or not. For example, if someone slips and falls, you could be liable for their medical expenses — or worse, they could sue you.

Here are some tips to help keep your guests safe and decrease your chances of a liability claim on your homeowners policy.

  • Follow the law. Check to see if there are any local or state laws that apply to swimming pools. For example, most cities (and insurance companies) require a fence around the pool with a self-latching, self-closing gate.
  • Supervise children closely. A tragedy can happen in a matter of minutes – the time it takes to run inside and grab the sunscreen. Designate an official “water watcher” to supervise children in and around the water at all times.
  • Learn CPR. Every second during an emergency counts, and knowing how to perform CPR can save lives. CPR classes are available through many hospitals or the American Red Cross.
  • Establish rules of the pool. You expect your students to follow the classroom rules; pool rules are no different. Before anyone enters the pool, make sure they’re aware of the rules.
  • Be prepared. It’s important you’re prepared to handle anything and everything. Make sure you have essentials on hand, including a charged cell phone, first aid kit, flotation devices and a pair of scissors to cut hair, clothing or a pool cover if necessary.

Liability coverage comes standard with most homeowners policies – usually $100,000 – but will it be enough if someone gets hurt in or around your pool? You may want to consider increasing your coverage or adding a personal umbrella policy. Check with your Horace Mann representative to learn more.

WBTL-0771 (July 19)

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