Maximize time spent in the pool

One of the advantages of having a pool right in the backyard is the convenience of being able to take a dip anytime you so desire. Spending time in the pool is a great way to kick off summer vacations — especially if that vacation is a staycation. The pool also is a fun gathering place for casual barbecues or hangouts with friends.

The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals says there are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in the United States. The Pool & Spa Marketing group has found that the number of pool permits issued in 2018 in Canada (the most recent year for data) was the third highest in the last 14 years, indicating a booming pool market that continues to show promise, especially considering that the data does not reflect many of the rural areas that do not require building permits for pool construction.

With hazy summer days here, it’s time to dive into ways to maximize pooltime fun.

• Carefully consider pool location. Those who are installing a new pool should spend time in their yards looking at the landscape, how the sun travels overhead and any obstructions that can get in the way of the pool. Then the pool can be properly located for ideal results.

• Select upgrades. Certain upgrades can be added when pools are being built; otherwise, aftermarket additions can enhance the pool experience. Zero entry effects can reduce the number of steps or ladders needed, while a water shelf, also known as a Baja bench, enables swimmers to play or cool off without being completely immersed in water. Diving boards or water slides can complete the package and provide some extra thrills.

• Stock up on toys. Anything from aqua volleyball nets to climbing walls to floating golf games and even inflatable hamster balls that float on water can amp up the fun factor.

• Lather up the SPF. Pool time can be cut short if people are not diligent when applying sunscreen. Follow package directions regarding application, being sure to reapply regularly. Even waterproof products will need to be reapplied frequently.

• Offer a shady escape. Like a sunburn, heat exhaustion can compromise a fun day in the pool. Provide a shady respite, particularly one stocked with refreshing drinks like water or lemonade.

Time spent in the pool can be enhanced with various additions and smart safety guidelines.

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