With the Olympics coming up, some of us might be thinking about our swimming pool safety this week.
So many of us are getting up early and heading to our pools to check our fitness levels and take some of the pressure off, but we’re also wondering whether we should wear a head-up display to warn others when we need to get out of the pool.
Here are some tips for getting your swimming pool safely and securely.
Wear a helmet while swimming.
Head-up displays (HUDs) are increasingly becoming common in pools across the country, and they’re great for warning other people if someone is having a bad day or showing how fast they can swim, says Joe Dolan, founder of Dolan Safety Systems, a pool safety and monitoring company in New Jersey.
Dolan says that while a helmet isn’t required, he likes the extra protection.
“I’m not saying it’s mandatory, but I think it’s a good idea to wear one,” he says.
And with more people wearing helmets on the beach, Dolan adds, “You’re safer when you wear a mask.”
Use the swim timer to monitor your swim level.
You don’t need a GPS-equipped device to track your swim.
When you check your current level, you’ll see the percentage of your body mass and oxygen level, and the time remaining until you reach that point.
“You’ll see when you’ve reached that mark, you should look at that time,” Dolan explains.
“And if you see your time is low, then you know you need to use a more powerful stroke.”
Check your oxygen levels before you leave the pool, if you have to.
There are two types of pool-level meters, one for pool water and another for your body.
You’ll see both at the pool entrance and from a distance.
A meter with a barometric gauge will measure your body’s oxygen saturation.
If you’re wearing a mask, the meter will measure the level of your breath.
If it’s not available, you can still use a digital breath-meter to measure your level.
But, Delso says, if the barometric sensor at the end of the meter is showing a lower level, “then you know it’s time to get in the pool.”
Be aware of other people’s health.
When someone else is in the water, Danso recommends using the swimming timer to let them know when you’re about to be out of range.
If they’re wearing an oxygen mask, “you can’t see them,” Delsi says.
“So if they’re out in the middle of the water you’ll know where they are.”
If you need your swim timer in the dark, Dannels suggests using an eye-tracking device.
Use a good, inexpensive swimming pool timer.
Delsos recommended a “swim timer” that uses a barometer, which measures your breathing and heart rate.
“It’s good for measuring the level,” Dannels says.
You can also use an e-meter for measuring oxygen levels.
A simple barometric meter that’s worn over the eyes and is visible to the wearer can be worn in place of a helmet.
Avoid using a diving helmet while you’re swimming.
“A dive helmet has no use underwater,” Dansos says.
Instead, use a “soft mask” to keep your face and head from being exposed to the water.
If someone is wearing a diving mask, you want to keep them at a safe distance.
“If they’re in the same area, you know they’re not going to be able to see your face,” Does says.
So if you’re going to dive, you may want to use another type of mask to cover your mouth and eyes.
“When you’re diving, you’re probably wearing your diving mask and you’re holding a gun and a bow and arrow, so that will give you more protection from being hit,” Dets says.
Keep an eye on your phone.
If a person is wearing their helmet and phone, Dets recommends using a flashlight, but you can also turn on a flashlight when you check the water level or swim timer.
“With your phone, you don’t want to see the water levels going down,” Ders says.
Dansons advice is that you’ll want to turn on the flashlight when you are swimming, but keep your phone on a stand or under a window to get a better view of your surroundings.
Get a swim timer for your phone and head up to the pool before you go out.
“As soon as you go into the pool,” Dives says, “your phone is going to send an alert.”
That way, you won’t have to worry about having your phone off the hook while swimming, which can be risky.
Dives suggests checking the water meter before you