Nothing makes pool time more fun than a pool slide! The anticipation of reaching the bottom and being submerged in the cool, refreshing water on a hot summer day is one of life’s simple pleasures. That said, in order to make sure the fun lasts, you must first make sure the pool slide and its surrounding area are as safe as possible.
Swimming pools, and any equipment related to it, present a serious drowning risk. If installed or used improperly, a slide can cause severe injuries. But there’s no need for the enjoyment to slow down. Just be sure to have fun in a safe and smart way.
Here are some pro tips for keeping the fun times rolling:
Choosing a Pool Slide
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has established a set of safety standards to help minimize the potential risk created by pool slide use. When purchasing a slide, it should be CPSC-compliant.
Another item to observe is whether the slide’s ladders have non-slip material on its handrails, so that climbers with wet hands don’t lose their grip. Also check that no bolts, screws or edges are sticking out. In addition, check on the minimum depth of water required for your particular slide. This varies depending on each slide’s height.
When you open your pool at the start of each season, check the slide for signs of aging and deterioration. If you notice any, do not use the slide until it is attended to.
Pool Slides Aren’t for Everyone
Though we wish for everyone to enjoy their time in the pool, unfortunately pool slides aren’t for everyone. In some cases, it can cause more harm than good. People who should avoid using the pool slide include:
- those who have pre-existing injuries, such as back problems or heart conditions
- the elderly
- people who exceed the weight limit of the slide
- very small children
- pregnant women
If someone is a beginner swimmer, provide life jackets for them to use when going down the slide.
Using Your Pool Slide Safely
A pool slide can give you, and your friends and family, hours of enjoyment when used responsibly. Setting up a list of simple guidelines can ensure that the fun continues.
Here are some other rules to consider:
- Only one person should go down the slide at a time.
- Roughhousing on or near the slide should be avoided.
- The only positions in which you should go down the slide are sitting or feet-first. To avoid serious injury, never go down a pool slide head-first. This can put you at risk for paralysis.
- Make sure a lifeguard, active supervisor or “buddy” are available whenever you plan to use the slide.
- Be sure that the slide’s exit path is clear of any other swimmers, and items like pool toys and floats.
- No alcohol. Put plain and simply, alcohol and swimming do not mix. We’ve discussed this in other blog posts and it applies to pool slides as well.
- In case of an accident, be sure that someone who is certified in CPR is always present.