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Pools and Stuff

  • Creating the Perfect Environment around Your Backyard Pool

    Little girl in a swimming pool


    Once you install a new pool in your backyard, you should be prepared for your home to become the gathering point for all your friends, family members, and neighbors. There's a difference between hosting some guests in your backyard, and entertaining those guests. With the addition of these must-have accessories, you'll create the perfect environment in your backyard to entertain guests around the pool.



    Kids aren't generally picky when it comes to a pool. If there's water and the chance to swim around, children will hop right in and enjoy the cool waters. If you want to give them something more to do, you can purchase a slide such as the Typhoon Slide or Turbo Twister Slide to give the kids a chance to enjoy a waterpark thrill in the comfort of your backyard.



    Everyone enjoys the sun's warm glow, but if you're going to be spending the whole day outside around the pool, you'll inevitably want some shade to escape those warm rays. There are countless options when it comes to selecting an umbrella for use in the backyard. Canton umbrellas with collar tilts are common choices, due to simplicity. They can be used as standalone umbrellas, or placed next to seating areas.

    Bimini Cantilever umbrellas are portable and use heavy stands that sit off to the side, casting shade over a larger area without having a stand in the middle of a seating area. Of course, there are also umbrellas included in seating arrangements, where the umbrella stand comes up through the center of a table to cast shade over those seated at the table.

    A unique option is the Blue Wave Light. This accessory can be added to most umbrellas, and provides light under the umbrella as you enjoy those warm evening breezes outdoors around your pool.


    Pool Stools

    If the primary users of your backyard pool are older children and adults, pool stools offer a great option for in-pool seating that creates a unique experience. These LED Pool Stools are adjustable to three- or four-foot depths. They are not fixed to the bottom of the pool, but rather, feature a weighted base that helps hold them in place. An included remote control allows you to fade, flash, and change colors on a whim, adding brilliance to the nighttime ambiance around your pool!



    Even if you purchase a simple swimming pool for your backyard, you can add a fountain at any time that adds entertainment to your backyard. The Raindance Deluxe Spinning Fountain comes with its own water pressure valve, universal adapter kit, transparent, flexible plumbing, and anchor that allows you to install and remove the fountain as you choose.

    Your pool doesn't have to be the only source of entertainment in your backyard. While there is nothing wrong with a pool alone, adding a few extra accessories can transform a backyard with a pool into the ultimate entertaining area that will leave all your neighbors feeling jealous.


    Do you have pool accessories in your backyard? Which one is your favorite?



  • 8 Steps to Get Your Pool Ready for Summer Swimming



    Now that the coldest days of winter are finally behind us (hopefully) and the world is turning green again, it is time to think about the hot days of summer and the pool in your back yard. Whether you have a huge in-ground swimming pool or a smaller above-ground one, you will no doubt enjoy many summer days and nights swimming, hanging out with friends and just having fun with your family.

    Getting your pool off to a great start now will mean less maintenance and more fun later. Here are eight steps you can take today to get your pool ready for swimming season tomorrow.


    1. Drain and Remove the Pool Cover

    Drain as much water as you can from the pool cover, then carefully remove it and set it aside. Clean the pool cover carefully before storing it. A clean pool cover will last longer and be more durable.


    2. Add Water as Needed

    You probably lost a good deal of water to evaporation over the winter months. Now is the time to bring the level back up to normal. Use a hose to fill your pool to its normal level.


    3. Reconnect the Pool Equipment

    After the water level is back to normal, you can reconnect the equipment you disconnected for the winter season. That includes your pump, filter, heater and anything else that you normally use on your in-ground or above-ground pool.


    4. Remove the Winter Plugs and Reattach Your Drain Plugs

    You will need to remove the winterizing plugs you used in your pump, filter, heater and pool cleaner over the colder months. Store those winterizing plugs in a safe place and put your regular drain plugs back where they belong.


    5. Clear the Pool Antifreeze from Your Drain Lines

    If you used pool antifreeze during the winter months, you will need to discharge it before getting your pool ready for summer. Be sure to discharge the antifreeze safely and dispose of it properly.


    6. Check Your Skimmer and Return Lines for Winterizing Plugs

    Do not forget to remove any winterizing plugs from your return lines and skimmers. You will want to wait until all of the pool antifreeze has been properly discharged before removing these winterizing plugs.


    7. Begin Turning Your Pool Equipment Back On

    After the antifreeze has been discharged and the winterizing plugs removed, you can start turning your equipment back on. You will want to prime the pump and start the circulation and filtration system to keep your pool clean. You will also want to open the relief valve on your filter (if it has one) and bleed any extra air from the system.


    8. Test Your Water Chemistry and Make Changes as Needed

    The next step is taking a sample of your water and testing its chemistry. Even if your pool chemistry was in perfect shape when you closed up for the season, you will probably need to make a few adjustments. You can use a home test kit to determine the pH and other values, and feel free to contact us with any questions you might have about testing your pool’s chemistry.


    When you first saw pools for sale, you dreamed of having such an oasis in your back yard. Now that you have your own pool in place, it is time to care for it properly so you can enjoy it for a long time!

    If you have any further questions about how to get your pool ready for the warm weather ahead, contact us today!




  • 6 Essential Safety Tips for Your Backyard Pool


    Having a swimming pool in the back yard is a lot of fun. With a pool in place, you and your family can vacation without ever leaving home, but before you take your first swim you need to take safety into account.

    The good news is that a few simple, commonsense safety precautions can prevent most swimming pool problems. Here are some things you can do, right now, to secure your pool and keep your friends, family members and neighborhood children safe.

    #1. Invest in Family Swimming Lessons
    If you have a pool in your backyard, every member of your family needs to know how to swim. It does not matter if Grandma just plans to do water aerobics or Junior plans to stay at the shallow end. A single mistake or moment of carelessness could be tragic.

    You can take swimming lessons at the local YMCA or gym, or hire a coach to give lessons at your home. No matter which approach you choose, the peace of mind you receive will be well worth the cost.

    #2. Exceed Local Fencing Requirements
    Many townships impose fencing requirements for both in-ground and above-ground pools. Find out what those requirements are before you build, then exceed them.

    If your township requires a three-foot fence, build a four- or five-foot one instead. Top it off with a childproof lock and make sure all gates are self-closing.

    #3. Insist on Safe Behavior
    Horseplay and other unsafe activities are a common cause of pool accidents. Insist on safe behavior around the pool at all times, and do not waver from that commitment.

    Enforcing these safety rules, consistently, is vital, especially if you have children. Your kids will be watching what you do, and if you are not consistent they may let their guard down when you are not around.

    #4. Store Your Pool Chemicals Safely
    Water is not the only potential danger in your pool. The chemicals you use to clean the water, disinfect the pool and balance the pH can also be dangerous. Store all of your pool chemicals safely and in the original containers. Mixing the wrong chemicals can create toxic fumes, and those kinds of errors are more likely if the chemicals are removed from their original packaging.

    #5. Keep a Flotation Ring and First Aid Kit by the Pool
    Your pool should include safety devices like floatation rings and first aid kits. If you have a large pool, placing a floatation ring at each end (or each corner) of the pool is a smart idea. If your pool is a small one, you can probably get away with a single ring; just be sure you know where it is at all times. A first aid kit is another important line of defense, so keep it close by whenever anyone is swimming or hanging out by the pool.

    #6. Check Drain Covers Before Every Swim
    If the drain cover becomes loose or fully dislodged, long hair, jewelry and loose clothing can easily get sucked in. That could trap swimmers under the water and even cause a drowning. It only takes a minute to check the drain covers, so make it part of your everyday routine.

    Installing a pool in your backyard should be a fun and exciting experience, and with the proper safety measures, you can ensure that it will always remain that way! What about you, do you have any safety tips for families with a backyard pool? What about rules for “pool time?”

    Contact us if you’d like more information on our selection of pools, and pool accessories!




  • Buying Pools: Above-Ground or In-Ground?

    Above Ground Pool

    Whether you are installing a new pool in your backyard or remodeling an existing pool, there are a number of options available as you look to invest in a new pool. The biggest decision you'll face when buying pools is whether to select an above-ground or in-ground pool. In this post, we'll “dive” into the details of both, analyzing which pool is right for your budget, your family, and your home.

    The Case for In-Ground Pools

    When purchasing a new pool, the natural instinct for most is to go with an in-ground model. An in-ground swimming pool is permanently installed on your property and can add value to your home, especially if you live in a warm climate where your family and future homeowners can get a lot of use out of the pool. This type of pool also adds to the overall landscaping and appearance of your property by providing a water feature that is pleasing to the eye.

    Unfortunately, in-ground pools come with a significant financial investment upfront to clear space, set the foundation, and install the required water, pump, and electrical connections for the system to operate properly. Add to that the yearly costs associated with cleaning, operating, and refilling your pool (as a result of evaporation), and you have an investment that requires yearly expenses to continue enjoying.

    Drifting back to the positive for a moment though, in-ground pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with multiple options for customization. Add water features in the pool, custom tile linings, waterslides, and diving boards. Your dreams and budget are the only limitations.

    The Case for Above-Ground Pools

    First and foremost, above-ground pools require a significantly lower upfront investment than an in-ground model. An above-ground pool can be purchased and installed within a matter of days, allowing your family to enjoy the pool without waiting weeks or months for the installation process to be completed. Most above-ground pools come in prefabricated kits that can be put together by an installation team in just two or three days.

    Additionally, you can purchase decking and rails to go around the outside of the pool, adding space around the pool's edge and safety features that help protect younger children from accidents.

    While above ground pools do not add as much value to a home as an in-ground pool, buyers experience major cost savings up front on preparation and installation. There are no extra costs to operate an above ground pool and they are almost as customizable as an in-ground pool with all the decking and accessories available these days.

    Buying pools is a tough process. As you are looking at pools for sale, don't allow the excitement of the purchase to cloud your judgment. It is important to keep your current budget, available space, and long-term interest in a pool in mind before making any decision. Following these basic guidelines for both types of pools for sale, you should be able to make an informed decision about which type of pool is better for you and your family.

    If you are interested in purchasing a pool for your home, or have any questions about which model is right for you, give us a call, we’re happy to help!

  • Burning Fat in the Pool: The Total-Body Workout in the Water



    When you’re out looking at pools to buy, the last thing on your mind is your cardiovascular health. As you look at page after page of pools for sale, you’re thinking more about games of chicken, diving in the deep end and relaxing on a hot summer day. In reality, an investment in a new pool is also an investment in your health.

    Owning a pool puts an entire gym in your backyard that offers you the opportunity to burn fat, tone muscles and improve your heart health. In this post, we are going to look at some of the best fat-burning and toning exercises you can do in your new pool. After all, what’s the point in buying a pool if you aren’t going to work on that swimsuit bod?


    Swim in the deep end of your pool and tread water, making small circles with your hands cupped. Lift your right leg straight out in front of you, to hip level, keeping the toes on both feet pointed straight in the process. Hold this position for five seconds, and repeat with the opposite leg. Continue alternating legs, with five-second holds, for 30 seconds before resting. This exercise targets your arms, back, chest, abs, butt and hamstrings.


    Otter Roll:

    Every pool owner has an inflatable beach ball, or they should. If you do, it’s the perfect tool to assist you in this fat-burning exercise. Hug the beach ball close to your chest and float on your back with both legs extended, keeping your feet together. Roll toward your left side and over the top of the ball, using your entire body to make the full revolution. Take a breath, and roll back the opposite direction. Continue alternating the direction of your roll for 30 seconds.


    Ball Lever:

    Keep that beach ball handy, because you’re about to take your exercise up a notch. In this exercise, hold the beach ball out above your head as you float your body face down in the water. Pull the ball down underneath the water in front of you until you reach your thighs. As you pull the ball down, try to draw it toward your thighs as fast as you can while maintaining an arch on your motion. Continue doing the lever for 30 seconds before taking a rest. This exercise targets your shoulders, back, triceps and abs.


    Pike Scull:

    Last but not least, you’re going to focus on your abs, hips and arms. Standing in the shallow end of your pool, simultaneously sit back in the water and start treading with your hands by your sides. Lift both legs together so that you fold at the hips at a 90-degree angle. Your body should form a wide V, with your head and toes just above the water line. Maintain this position by moving your cupped hands in small circles and propel your body down the length of the pool with hip thrusts. Continue for 30 seconds, or until you reach the other end of the pool.


    Pools are a great source of entertainment and relaxation at your house. However, buying a pool also presents you with an opportunity to improve your overall health if you put in a few minutes of activity each day.



  • Winter: The Perfect Time to Pool Shop


    Whether you spent the morning shoveling snow, have just come to the realization that you need to get yourself in better physical shape, or want more opportunities for family fun, adding an above ground pool to your backyard makes for the ideal solution.

    Unfortunately, many of us spend the cold weather months hibernating – and eating fattening foods. Unless you are consistently committed to a workout schedule, the opportunity to wear bulkier clothes and the tendency to remain indoors can add up to some winter weight gain.

    Swimming for a healthy life is one of the easiest ways to tone and shape your body. 

    • Going to the gym does not suit everyone’s style or schedule
    • Running in your own neighborhood is a tremendous way to get in shape, but asphalt is harsh on your knees
    • Personal trainers are expensive

    A backyard swimming pool is an investment that will far outlast your gym membership.

    While we certainly recommend consulting with your physician before beginning any kind of exercise program, you can simply and steadily swim your way to a healthier you.

    • You are naturally buoyant in the water so you are not stressing your body unnecessarily
    • Swimming works all the muscles in unison so you maximize your workout time with a more comprehensive training session
    • Swimming is one of the finest types of cardiovascular exercises
    • When you are finished doing your laps, you can slip onto a float and relax while you rehydrate with plenty of water
    • You can enjoy a private workout session because you are not contending with someone else swimming by, nor are you waiting to use one of the gym’s weight resistance machines

    Getting Started

    The biggest misstep people make with any type of workout regimen (including pool exercise) is they set unrealistic goals.

    • Every person has different capabilities and strengths; so start small, but be consistent
    • Participating in cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week for 20 minutes at a time is a great beginner’s target
    • Try starting with 15 minutes twice weekly and then build by adding another day or by increasing your minutes

    The longer you exercise, the more you are going to want to as you will find you are looking better, feeling better, and de-stressing. A pool is not just for relaxation; it is your way to physical fitness.



  • Salt Water Pools vs. Chlorine Pools

    Evening Pool and Beach Scene

    If you’re a pool owner, then you’re already sold on the health and exercise benefits having a sparkling pool in your backyard provides you and your family. Pools are also the perfect excuse to get your children away from their video games and out into the sunshine!

    Can you make your pool experience a different one? Perhaps a chlorine-free one?

    What kinds of considerations need you make if you are debating the transition from a traditional chorine pool to a saltwater one? What are the pluses?

    The Benefits of Salt Water Pools:

    • The operating cost is generally lower when compared to a traditional pool
    • For those with more sensitive skin, saltwater is easier to tolerate
    • You can transform your chorine pool into a salt water pool at a reasonable price

    The one misconception those interested in transitioning must understand, is that salt water swimming pools are maintenance-free.

    •  The chemistry of the pool water needs to be tested weekly to keep the pH and salt levels in check.
    • Monitor the salt level so your automatic chlorine generator can consistently generate the necessary chlorine level.
    • Test the pH regularly as the pH in salt water pools is consistently higher than that of conventional chlorine pools. Testing twice weekly is a good rule of thumb with an eye toward keeping the pH between 7.4 and 7.8.
    •  Don’t cut back on filtration time, because with most systems, chlorine is only being introduced when the filter is running. One of the biggest mistakes pool owners make with salt water swimming pools is when they try to save money by reducing the filter run time. This reduction can often result in an algae problem.
    • Maintain the salt chlorinator cell to confirm there are no calcium deposits visible. This maintenance will ensure that the chlorinator produces the necessary level of chlorine.

    To make the transition to your saltwater pool, there is now fortunately a variety of saltwater generators on the market. MegaChlorMaker DO is a drape over Saltwater System that can be used for spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons. It offers a self-cleaning technology with a plug and play installation and produces up to 100 grams per day of chlorine.

    The cell simply hangs over the side of the pool into the water. The pool doesn’t even have to be on when the MegaChlor DO is making chlorine.

    Whether you opt for a salt water pool or a chlorine pool, proper care will certify the integrity of the structure, providing years of enjoyment.  Routine cleaning, chemical testing, and equipment checks help to keep every pool in top condition.



  • Ridding Your Pool of Algae

    Ridding Your Swimming Pool of Algae

    Algae growth is a very common problem among swimming pool owners. There is nothing dangerous about algae itself. In fact, you can purchase it in health supplements. However, algae is really good at converting sunlight into food and then realeasing waste. This waste creates an hospitable environment for harmful bacteria and other undesirable micro-organisms.

    There are over 20,000 species of algae, but only a few are ever found in swimming pool water. You can't really keep algae out of the pool--it is constantly landing in the water. It is not until sanitizer levels drop that algae becomes a problem. In just a few hours, algae can multiply and take over a swimming pool.

    Types of Swimming Pool Algae

    Algae is commonly identified and referred to by its color.

    Green algae is the most commonly found in swimming pools and is easy to prevent and treat (relatively speaking).

    Yellow--or Mustard--algae is more difficult to treat than green algae, but does respond to treatments.

    Black algae is not only unsightly, it can be very difficult to eradicate from your swimming pool.

    Pink algae is not actually algae, but a fungus called Paecilomyces Iilacinus. It creates white, pink, or grey colonies that are slimy.

    Treating Swimming Pool Algae

    The best way to deal with swimming pool algae is prevention. Proper water balance and sanitizer levels will prevent spores from taking over the pool. The most effective sanitizer is chlorine, which should be present in the water at a minimum of 1.0 part per million (ppm).

    Once you have an algae problem, you have some work to do:

    • Check the pH levels of the pool water. You want it to be in the range of 7.2 - 7.6. This will help the chlorine do its job more effectively.

    Use a monitoring system like our ePool Wireless Water Chemistry Monitoring System to get notifications sent to you when chemical levels are out of balance!

    • Shock treat the pool water with the pool filter system running. You need at least 10 ppm of chlorine.

    We carry several shock products. Check them out!

    • Circulate the water 24 hours a day until the algae is completely gone.
    • Brush the walls and floor of the pool thoroughly and then vacuum. Repeat daily until the algae is completely gone from the pool.
    • Purchase an algaecide formulated for the type of algae in your pool (green, yellow, etc.). Add it to the water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add algaecide weekly to prevent algae from returning.

    Get FREE SHIPPING on our algaecide products.

    • If the algae problem does not significantly improve in 12-24 hours, shock the pool again.
    • Clean or backwash your filter to ensure any live spores are cleared out. Do this regularly as part of preventative maintenance.
    • Submerge all of your cleaning equipment (brooms, vacuums, etc) in algaecide overnight to ensure you've killed any spores that may be hiding on them.

    Note: Do not use the swimming pool until all the algae is gone and chlorine levels are back to 3 ppm or less.

    How do you handle algae problems in your pool? Got any tips or tricks to share? Tell us in the comments!



  • 9 Swimming Pool Trends in 2014

    Pool season will be winding down soon, so it's a great time to look back at this year's swimming pool trends.

    2014 was a great year for pools, with lots of new, innovative ideas emerging. Highlights included making pools more natural spaces, and playing with fresh aesthetics in pool designs.

    2014 Swimming Pool Trends

    1. Natural Pools

    2014 swimming pool trends photo by Enricoslasheric via Wikipedia

    The goal of "natural" swimming pools is to use the terrain surrounding the pool to it's greatest advantage, so the pool appears to fit seamlessly into the landscape. These pools do not use chemicals or equipment to sterilize or disinfect the pool water. These processes are instead handled by biological filters--plants, namely.

    These pools are built in two sections: a swimming zone and a regeneration zone. The swimming zone is where everyone plays. The regeneration zone is connected, but separated by a wall or some other barrier. This zone is filled with plants and flowrs that naturally filter the swimming pool water. It tends to resemble a pond or water garden, but is actually serving a more functional purpose.

    Natural swimming pools can take some time to set up--the swimming zone is usable immediately, but the regeneration zone can take up to three years to be a fully functioning filtration system, as the plants need time to establish themselves. However, once established, natural swimming pools require far less maintenance than conventional pools. They are more eco-friendly and very attractive to look at.

    2. Glass Tiles

    2014 swimming pool trends photo by Gwyneth Trevena via mutni.com

    Currently, ceramic tile is the most commonly used under the pool's coping to highlight the water's edge. However, glass is gaining in popularity. Much harder than ceramic, glass tiles are harder to crack and break, making them superior to ceramic tiles. They come in a variety of colors and can be a really beautiful way to refresh and modernize the look of your pool. Due to their strength, they can even be used in the bottom and sides of the pool.

    3. Infinity Pools

    2014 swimming pool trends photo by David Shankbone via Wikipedia

    These pools have a vanishing edge that makes it appear as if the water extends beyond the pool's edge. It's an optical illusion that gives the impression of greater size, and when situated near a lake or ocean it can appear as if the pool and ocean are one. When used in penthouses, it can look as if the pool disappears into the sky. Breathtaking!

    What actually happens is one edge of the pool is lower than the others. The water spills over and into a catch basin that then pumps it back into the pool.

    These pools can be rather expensive, as they have special structural support requirements, require mechanical hydraulics, and require some architectural design. Depending on where it is situated, a survey may need to be done to determine that the ground will support the pool.

    While these pools are stunning beside natural water features or in high-rises, they can be very beautiful in well-designed backyards.

    4. Attached Hot Tubs

    2014 swimming pool trends photo by מתניה via Wikipedia

    While pools and hot tubs have often gone together like peanut butter and jelly, there was a move away from attaching them. Hot tubs were relocated to their own areas or done away with altogether.

    No longer! 2014 saw a reunion of the hot tub and the swimming pool, with many designs rejoining the two in really beautiful ways. No longer simply added to one side of the pool, hot tubs are now getting elevated above the pool, or getting designed into the pool's design so as to appear nearly invisible. The design possibilities continue to be explored, so expect to see more of this pairing in the future.

    Did you know we have a sister site where we sell pretty amazing hot tubs? We do! Check out our gorgeous hot tub selection here!

    5. Exercise Pools

    2014 swimming pool trends photo via designhome.pics

    As the country becomes more and more attentive to the health of the environment, we also are becoming more and more attentive to our own health. For example, the number of entrants into marathons and other fitness events is increasingly dramatically every year. This is great news!

    In the swimming pool world, this interest in fitness and health has translated into an increase in pools designed with an eye for beauty and exercise. Also known as lap pools, these pools can be easier and cheaper to build than more conventional pools, as they are often smaller.

    There are two sorts of pools in this category: long, narrow pools with straight sides designed for swimming laps; and pools with built-in resistance jets that allow you to swim in place without actually traveling from one end of the pool to the other. Both types can be installed in-ground or above-ground, and both types can be very versatile with lower overall costs (installation and maintenance). They can also be very beautifully designed, with infinity edges, water features, glass tiles, and attached hot tubs. Beauty and function!

    Did you know they make swim/fitness hot tubs, too? They do! Check out the selection of exercise hot tubs at our sister site www.spasandstuff.com.

    6. Hardscapes

    2014 swimming pool trends photo via www.hickoryhollowlandscapers.com/

    "Landscaping" tends to refer to the yard and plant life around the pool's edges. "Hardscaping" refers to pool decking, patios, coping, and other non-plant features that surround the pool. More attention is being paid to beautifying the "hard" spaces around the pool--gorgeous natural stone tiles are being used; deck and gazebo areas are being constructed. There are a lot of options in this area for adding value, function, and beauty to your swimming pool area. How about a sunken/raised fire pit and patio area paved with travertine tile? Or a pool-side gazebo/bar area on a deck overlooking the pool? The options are endless, and emerging designs are exploring them.

    7.  Saltwater Pools

    2014 swimming pool trends Riviera saltwater pool available from www.poolsandstuff.com

    The popularity of these swimming pools has exploded this year. Conventional pools are treated with chlorine or bromine; these pools use saltwater instead. The process actually uses electrolysis that converts salt into chlorine in order to sanitize the water. Maintenance on the pool is greatly reduced with these pools.

    They also have health advantages. There are no harmful chemicals in the pool water--you'll feel the effects in your hair, skin and eyes. The water also takes on a silky feel, which is very pleasant and refreshing.

    We have everything you need to convert your pool to saltwater! Check out our saltwater conversion system here!

    We also carry a line of pools specially designed for saltwater systems. Take a look!

    8. Geometric Pool Shapes

    2014 swimming pool trends photo by Gregory Butler via Pixabay

    For years, freeform shapes have ruled backyard swimming pools, but geometric shapes have been gaining in popularity quickly. These shapes range from perfect circles to squares and rectangles. These shapes tend to make better, more economical use of available space while still allowing for beautiful designs.

    9. Custom Water Features

    2014 swimming pool trends pool fountain available at www.poolsandstuff.com

    These are features that add interest and beauty to the swimming pool area. Popular features in 2014 include waterfalls that fall over pool edges or attach to the pool walls; fountains within the pool or beside it; bubblers and jets that create movement in the water; and LED lighting that not only increase safety when swimming at night, they also create moods for pool-side parties.

    We offer many of these features in our store. Check out our pool fountains and lights here!

    It's been a great year for swimming pools, and all signs point to a great year in 2015, too. Thanks for joining us for this pool season!

    What was your favorite trend for 2014? What do you predict will be big in 2015? Tell us in the comments below!

  • Teaching Babies to Swim

    Teaching Babies to Swim photo courtesy McStone via pixabay.com

    We recently blogged about dry drowning--how to spot the symptoms and how to prevent it from happening. Thankfully, it's a rather uncommon phenomenon. Actual drowning, however, is not: drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children aged 1-3 years old in 30 states.

    A few weeks ago, we reposted this rather amazing video on our Facebook page:


    It's a little shocking--watching a baby fall into a pool is a scary thing! But it brings to attention the importance of teaching very young children skills that may help them survive an accidental tumble into a swimming pool or other body of water.

    Check out our selection of floating aids and toys.

    Types of Infant Swim Classes

    There are a lot of options for parents who are looking for infant swim classes:

    • A well-known infant swim class is Waterbabies. This class and others like it include the parent and the infant in the lessons. The focus is primarily social (parent-infant bonding, parent-parent socializing, infant-infant socializing) and getting babies accustomed to being in the water. Basic floating skills are taught.
    • Then there are classes like the one discussed in the video above. They are not advertised as swimming classes; rather, they are "self-rescue" classes, and the focus is not on fun or swimming, but rather on teaching infants survival skills that may help them survive falling into a pool. Parents sit on the sidelines while trained instructors teach the infant to roll onto their backs, float, breathe, and wait for assistance. Older babies are taught to swim for short intervals in order to reach safety.
    • Parents can also teach their babies basic swimming skills on their own. There are many resources on the Internet that guide parents through teaching basic floating skills and swimming skills such as the doggy paddle.
    • Many communities also offer courses through local swimming pools. Check the resources in your area to see if such classes are offered. Many of these types of classes will be geared towards children 4 years and up.

    How Old Should My Baby Be to Learn to Swim?

    It depends who you ask. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children are not developmentally ready to learn to swim until they are 4 years old. However, they mean actually swimming. Programs like Waterbabies, in which children only float and are held in the water, start at 1 month. Self-rescue programs encourage parents to teach self-rescue skills between 6-12 months. The right time will also depend on the child and any special needs they may have.

    The Benefits of Teaching Babies to Swim

    Besides teaching skills that could save them from drowning, there are other benefits to teaching infants to swim:

    • Babies that learn to swim have better balance and are better at grasping objects than their non-swimming peers. This difference in ability persists even up through five years of age.
    • Teaching babies to swim can boost their confidence. They are also less likely to be afraid of being in water or having water on their face.
    • Swimming builds strength. The buoyancy of the water and the resistance it provides exercises muscles more effectively than activity on land. Research shows that babies who swim crawl later than their peers but walk earlier, due to improved muscle control.
    • One German study found that babies who swim display advanced social skills and intelligence, compare to their non-swimming peers.
    • Swimming relaxes infants and the activity stimulates their appetite. This improves their sleeping and eating habits.

    Will Teaching My Baby to Swim Prevent Drowning?

    Teaching an infant to swim, or teaching an infant self-rescue techniques, will improve their chance of surviving should they fall into water. However, there is never any guarantee they will not drown--no one is drown-proof. Even highly skilled adult swimmers can drown. The best way to prevent drowning is to secure pool areas with gates and fences, and to supervise your child at all times when near a pool or other body of water.

    This wristband alarm is designed specifically to warn you should your infant fall into the pool.

    Even if your infant has taken swimming or self-rescue classes, it is crucial you do not rely on those skills to save your child.

    View our pool alarm and safety systems here.


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