Summer Pool and Play Set Safety Tips from UL

Posted by Jenna | Monday, June 21, 2010

Now that the weather is getting nicer, the kids and I want nothing more than to spend time outdoors whenever possible. Whether it's to the park, our backyard, or somewhere else...we always find a way to run off that pent up energy from being cooped up indoors in the pool, on the jungle gym, etc.

Outside play is a big part of our summertime fun, but can turn dangerous if we're not careful. That's why, this summer, I am so thankful that Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading product safety testing organization, has provided useful tips to help keep parents/caregivers and children safe around the pool and play sets.

•If you have a pool at home, install a fence. The fence should be at least four feet high
and have a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child's
•Cut overhanging tree limbs and remove chairs or ladders from the pool area to prevent
children from climbing over the fence that surrounds the pool.
•Keep grates and drain covers in good repair and secured in place. Alert your family and
guests to stay away from these devices, as the suction from drain outlets can be strong
enough to cause entrapment of hair or body parts, which can potentially cause a person
to drown.
•Make sure you know infant and child CPR if you own a pool.

•Supervision is a must. Follow the 10/20 rule when you’re at the pool. The 10/20 rule
states the supervising adult needs to position themselves to be able to scan the pool
every 10 seconds, and reach the water within 20 seconds.
•Always have rescue devices, such as UL-LISTED life preservers, nearby.
•Flotation devices, toys and inflatable swimming aids are not safety devices. They are
toys and can easily puncture and deflate.
•Always drain wading pools after children are done playing. Infants can drown in just a
few inches of water.
•Have a telephone nearby and appropriate emergency numbers posted.
•Remove all toys when you leave the pool. Toys may attract children to the unattended

•Make sure your backyard is large enough for playground equipment. The site must also
provide good visibility and security. Before setting up equipment, look out for obstacles,
such as the garage, tree branches, utility poles and wires.
•Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions when setting up play set equipment. Be
sure your child's weight and age fall within the manufacturer's recommended limits for the
•Install protective surfacing, such as rubber tiles or mulch under the play set, at least six feed
in all directions, to prevent serious injuries should a child fall.

•Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely
in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed
and bolts are not protruding.
•Check for spaces that could trap children, such as openings in guardrails or between ladder
rungs. These spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.
•Always supervise children on play set equipment to make sure they are playing safely.
•Never attach ropes, jump ropes, clotheslines, pet leashes or cords of any kind to
play set equipment. If used improperly, they can be potential strangulation hazards.
•Watch for potential trip hazards, such as rocks, tree stumps and concrete footings. Make
sure you’re children are aware of them as well.
•Do a sandbox check. Before letting your child dig in, rake through the sand to check for
debris or sharp objects. Also, inspect for any animal contamination or insect problems.

So, as you're gearing up for sure to keep these useful summer pool and play set safety tips from UL in mind! You can also check out the cute video produced by UL and Disney. It features Timon and Pumbaa from the Lion King teaching kids how to stay safe while swimming during the summer and all year long.

**I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Underwriters Laboratories. Mom Central sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.**


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