The summer is approaching, and chances are that you’ll end up at the pool in the coming months. After all, many fond memories are made playing in the water. This is where pool toy safety comes in.

Whether floating on a blow-up raft or kicking in your flippers, these experiences are often fodder for great imaginative playtime. That said, the pool can also be a dangerous place when proper precautions aren’t taken.

These water toys can pose a real risk, but taking a few easy steps can help to avoid accidents and maintain the pool as a place for safe fun! Here are some simple items for your to-do list that will help:

Pool Toy Safety Tips

Clean Toys

When you examine your pool toy, take note of any sliminess you detect on the surface.  This is often a result of mold. While some people are under the impression that chlorine is enough to clean your toys, this isn’t quite the case.

To get rid of the slime, create a solution with bleach and water – about two cups of bleach in one gallon of water. While wearing gloves, scrub the toys clean. Rinse them down with a hose to remove all bleach. Rinse them off again occasionally during the season to prevent algae from re-growing.

Examine Toys

One of the most important steps for pool toy safety is simply to examine your pool toys before they go into the pool. Many people pull these toys out of storage and put them to good use right away. The fact is, these items may have suffered some damage in the off-season. Check each item for signs of wear, including holes and cracks, which can cause a floating toy of deflate more quickly. If there are signs of damage, it’s best to throw the toys in question out and buy new ones. If they are in tip-top shape, go have fun!

Store Toys

If the pool toys are not being used, store them away safely and securely. Concerns about pool safety do not only apply to when people are actually in the pool. For example, if a child wants to play with their toy, they may make their way to the pool when they are unsupervised. If the toys are in the pool, this presents a serious drowning risk.

When toys are in plain sight, they can be mighty tempting to your little ones.  It only takes a few seconds for them to be out the door and in the pool before someone notices. Remember to take all pool toys out of the pool when you’re finished. In addition, keeping them in a cool, dry place will help to prevent the growth of mold referenced above.

Review the Rules  

Establish a set of rules to help promote general water and also pool toy safety. Go over those rules with your children each time they are about to swim. This can include things like “always have a swim buddy with you”  “you cannot swim without permission.”  The more you go over the rules, the more it will reinforce general water well-being and pool toy safety.

Active Supervision

Pool toys can cause a false sense of security for everyone involved. Parents are less likely to watch their kids with a hawk’s eye because they assume the child is safe. Children may not realize how much they rely on their toys to stay afloat. As a result, they may take off their life jacket and try to play or swim on their own. This could quickly result in drowning.

Pool Noodle

These simple steps can help promote pool toy safety and encourage a fun time in the pool. Once you know how to properly take care of your pool toys, your time at the pool will be much safer.