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Stay Alert to Stay Alive: How to Remain Aware of Your Surroundings in the Pool Area

Even with the best safety equipment and tons of experience swimming and using a pool, you can’t keep yourself and others safe in or around the pool if you don’t stay alert.

Staying alert in the pool and surrounding area is especially important if young children and/or inexperienced swimmers are using the pool. Here are two great tips to help you stay as alert and focused on safety as possible while still having a good time in the pool.

Alertness Tip No. 1 – Be Present

This may seem a bit obvious, but to be aware of what is going on in the pool area, you must be in the pool area. Don’t rely on simply listening to what is going on, or on technology such as security cameras. Your physical presence in the pool area could save a life.

Furthermore, consider your vantage point. Be sure you have a view of the entire pool at all times. Focus on key areas, such as the divide between the shallow end and the deep end of the pool, which you will need to keep young children from crossing.

If there are many people using your pool, especially a lot of young or inexperienced people (for example, if one of your kids is having a pool party with friends), it is best to have multiple alert adults in the pool area—for example, at least one outside the pool to watch and one inside the pool to help directly.

Also, be sure you are mentally present in the pool area. Do not rely on yourself to help others if you haven’t gotten enough sleep or are tired from another strenuous physical activity. Do not enter the pool area if you think you need rest. Don’t think about stressful things while in the pool area. Stay focused.

Alertness Tip No. 2 – Be Careful About What Goes Into Your Body

As tempting as it is to have a refreshing alcoholic beverage by the pool, this can be incredibly dangerous. Alcohol can slow your reaction time and make you drowsy, which could put you in danger directly, or put others in danger by making you less alert.

The same is true for most other drugs, both recreational and medicinal. Please read all side effects for even the most mild medications extensively, and avoid anything that will make you drowsy or otherwise slow you down. Do not use recreational drugs, legal or illegal, in your pool area.

Even caffeine is not recommended for the pool, because it can cause dehydration when coupled with the activity of swimming. Dehydration may feel ironic or silly to think about when surrounded by water, but dehydration can cause real problems when you’re being active.

Drink plenty of water and eat energizing, not overfilling foods often when you’re in the pool. This will keep you in tip-top physical shape and at the highest level of alertness.

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