The dog days of Summer are here, and if you’re like millions of other American families, you’ll be spending lots of time by the pool.
While pools offer a slice of paradise in your backyard – they can also be incredibly dangerous. Here’s 3 safety tips for you to keep in mind.
1) No swimming without an adult around
Drowning doesn’t look like what you see on TV. Don’t let children swim unsupervised, even if your kids are future Olympians. It’s always best to have an adult keeping an eye on things. At cook outs, it’s a great idea to have a rotating schedule of chaperones so every one can enjoy the party.
2) No running
This one is a no-brainer, but still critical to remember. Pool decks are slippery, and it only takes one fall for someone to get a nasty bruise (or worse!) Don’t take any chances. Walk, don’t run. The last thing you need is a trip to the hospital… or a lawsuit.
3) No diving in the shallow end (or no diving at all)
Research of Spinal Cord Injury Statistics found that 57.2% of all pool diving accidents occur in water 4 feet deep or less, while only 4.8% of swimming pool diving accidents occur in water at least 8 feet deep. Experts recommend no diving at all in above-ground swimming pools.
A “Pool Rules” sign is a great way for you to remind family, neighbors and friends to be cautious in and around your pool. Visual reminders are an excellent way to keep everyone thinking about safety as they enjoy a dip. Search for an affordable sign online or consider creating a home made version with some plywood and paint. It can be a great Summer project for you and your kids, and creating the sign at home can even help your children memorize the rules.
Most insurers require a fence around a pool to qualify for coverage. But even if they weren’t required, it’s always recommended for safety. Children go outside to play in the Summer, and your pool should be inaccessible unless there’s an adult around to supervise.
Talk to your insurance agent about your Homeowners coverage to make sure your pool meets the minimum safety standards required by most insurers.
When we head to the beach or the pool on the weekends, most of us do so with a dangerous knowledge gap. We have wrong ideas about drowning and our ignorance means we don’t always recognize the signs of a person in distress when we see them. We are conditioned by movies and pop culture to think that a drowning person would yell and wave for help and splash violently to get attention. In reality, drowning is a quiet, desperate event – so quiet that every year, children die in pools and water just feet away from parents or friends who do not recognize the signs of distress.
Drowning behavior is so similar victim to victim that experts describe it as The Instinctive Drowning Response. Mario Vittone is an expert on water safety and he has been on a mission to raise awareness of what drowning behavior actually looks like – his blog post Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning is a really eye opener and something worth sharing.
He describes the behavior as:
The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D., is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water. And it does not look like most people expect. There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind. To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this: It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening. Drowning does not look like drowning
Here’s a video showing instinctive drowning response.
Drowning can happen in seconds. A more widespread understanding of what signs of swimming distress and drowning behavior actually look like would help to save lives. Help to raise awareness – why not share this post with friends and relatives – particularly parents of young kids?
Like millions of other couples this year, you may be putting the finishing touches on your plans for a wedding. In 2018, there were an average of 6,200 weddings per day in the US, but some months are more popular than others. The Spring is an active time, with 10% of all weddings in May and 11% in June. Statistics say that the average wedding budget is $20,000 and the average number of guests is 178. With COVID restrictions lifting in most states, the 2021 wedding season should feel a lot more normal than 2020.
From the event to the honeymoon, it’s a big deal with a lot of details, so it can be easy to overlook insurance. But we’re not just talking about wedding event insurance which, if you plan a costly event, you should definitely consider to cover cancellation or losses such as stolen gifts, damaged photos, rings or gowns and other unforeseen problems. In this case, we’re talking about insurance matters that you and your spouse should consider as you embark on a financial life together.
Of course the easiest way to cover insurance is to make an appointment with your local independent insurance agent, who can walk you through all the considerations both for the event itself and for the various coverage options you’ll need going forward. As you embark on a new life together, you no doubt have many hopes, plans and dreams. The right coverage can keep you on track by protecting you from unexpected losses. Your agent will know the best coverage options and the ins and outs for saving money.
Pop quiz – without looking, see how you do answering these questions:
What are the makes and years of your major kitchen appliances?
How many pairs of pants do you own? Jackets? Shoes? Boots?
What year did you buy your mattress and bed frame and what brand is it?
Name all the power tools you own. List the contents of your tool chest?
What brand of dinnerware and flatware do you own and when did you buy it?
List all your AV equipment, the make, the brand and the year you bought it.
Write down everything in your living room. Include what’s in the drawers and closets.
It’s not so easy remembering that stuff, is it?
It would be even harder if you were trying to recall all your stuff right after your house was destroyed in a fire or demolished in a hurricane. That’s why it’s important to keep a home inventory. If you find yourself under the terrible stress of recovering from a disaster or even a burglary, you don’t need the added burden of trying to remember all the possessions you lost so that you can be properly reimbursed by your insurer. A good home inventory will help you document your losses and make it easier to file a claim and get it processed.
You can record your “stuff” in a notebook (old-school style), but phones and computers have really simplified the process. A simple spreadsheet will do the trick, or use your phone to take room-by-room videos and document with photos. Or download an inventory app. Just be sure that you have multiple copies, that you store your inventory in a safe and accessible place and you keep it updated. Even if you make a hand-written version, you can scan it and keep it online in cloud storage.
If you’ve never done a home inventory, it can be a daunting job, but there are tools to help. And going forward, things will be much easier if you get in the habit of taking photos of new purchases and saving receipts. Log serial numbers, when available.
Spring is officially here, and as any homeowners knows, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and tackle some annual home maintenance tasks. Consumer Reports put this great list together last year. It includes tips for:
Cleaning household filters
De-griming countertop appliances
Prepping your lawn mower
Sprucing up your Lawn
Getting your gas grill ready
Pressure washing your deck (or porch)
Organizing your garage
Checking your tires
For a good year-round home maintenance checklist, the American Society of Home Inspectors has a comprehensive list of tasks and suggests as to whether they should be completed periodically, in the spring or in the fall.
We also like this cute springtime infographic from ReadyNest – see below or click on the image for the original.