Each year, about 3,868 people die from unintentional drowning in the US. That’s 46,419 deaths from 1999 through 2010. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the drowning death rates for adults 85 and older saw an increase of 21.7 percent from 1999 through 2005. It then decreased by 36.1 percent in 2010. These pool safety tips for seniors will let them enjoy their time in the pool.
8 pool safety tips for seniors
Seniors deserve to have a relaxing and fun time in the pool. These safety tips will help to prevent any accidental drowning and other injuries to your loved ones.
1. Don’t let seniors swim alone.
Even the most experienced swimmers can get into trouble while they are swimming. They can get cramps or feel dizzy all of a sudden. That is why nobody should swim alone, especially kids and seniors.
The buddy system is one of the most important pool safety tips for seniors. Swimming in pairs will ensure that there is someone who can call for help in case of an emergency.
2. Make sure to wear sunscreen.
Seniors have more sensitive skin. So, wearing sunscreen is important when they go swimming. Choose a broad-spectrum, waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, as the American Academy of Dermatology recommends. This type of sunscreen provides protection against UVA and UVB rays and won’t easily wear off even when in the water. Make sure to reapply as often as necessary.
3. Take regular breaks.
Exhaustion and prolonged exposure to the sun can cause harm and lasting damage. So, make sure to take breaks often when swimming. Seniors should especially get out of the pool and seek shelter from the sun.
4. Get in and out of the pool carefully.
Pool decks and step ladders are slippery when wet. Some elderly people also find ladders difficult to use. So, make sure they take their time and have a good grip when going into and out of the pool. Pool stairs are safer and easier to use than ladders, so consider having them installed.
5. Have some snacks handy.
People burn a lot of calories when they swim. This may cause their blood sugar to drop, especially after a vigorous swim. That’s why seniors should always have healthy snacks handy to keep their blood sugar steady. Examples of healthy snacks that are easy to bring to the pool are fruits, granola bars, protein bars, and shakes. Ensure you also have bottled water to keep your elderly loved one hydrated.
6. Keep track of air and water temperature.
Another one of the most important safety tips for seniors is keeping tabs on the temperature. When water gets too hot, the blood vessels dilate and allow more blood to flow to the skin. The heart pumps harder to keep hands and feet warm when it is too cold. Some older adults experience hypothermia even when water is colder than their core body temperature by just a couple of degrees.
When they are out of the water, keep seniors cool and hydrated to prevent heatstroke.
7. Consult with your healthcare provider.
Swimming increases strength and balance. Unlike other forms of exercise, it does not put as much stress on bones, joints, and muscles. However, swimming is not suitable for some people. Seniors should consult their doctor to ensure they are healthy enough to engage in swimming exercises.
Seniors who have a fever or gastrointestinal problems should refrain from swimming. Meanwhile, those who have a vulnerable immune system are advised to avoid swimming in untreated pools.
8. Establish strong pool safety barriers.
Accidents can happen even to the best of us. By adding swimming pool barriers, you are preventing accidental drowning from happening. This is one of the most important safety strategies for seniors. You can consider one of these safety barriers:
- Pool safety nets – These should have holes that are too small for the head or body of a toddler to slip through. They should also cover the swimming pool surface completely. This ensures that seniors are only able to enter the swimming pool with proper assistance.
- Removable pool fence – This provides a complete barrier that prevents entry into the swimming pool. Made of mesh panels, removable fences slot into drilled holes around the pool. The holes are covered with caps when the fence is not in place.
- Pool safety covers – These completely cover the pool surface. When installed properly, they are so resilient that a person can walk across the barrier without tearing. These covers also protect the pool from falling leaves and other debris.
Does your pool need repair and maintenance?
Cherry Pool Services is the name to call. Our motto is to keep the water safe and crystal clear. We have been helping clients in Carmel Valley, Del Mar and San Diego keep their pools in pristine condition. Whether you need someone to handle minor repairs, regular maintenance or construct a new pool, you can count on us. Call us at 858-999-1004 to learn more about our services, or request a free project consultation today.