Now is the time for park and recreation facilities, schools, rehab facilities and any other facility with swimming pools to start think about the summer swimming pool season. One of the most important things they must consider is foot traffic safety, especially around pool and spa areas and especially for young children. 

The best way to keep walkways around pools and spa areas safe is by installing mats specifically designed to let water and moisture drain below the mat so that the top surface stays clean and dry.

To help administrators do this and select the most effective mats to help prevent slip and fall accidents, Crown Matting Technologies, one of the oldest and largest matting manufacturers in the U.S., suggests the following:

 • Some outdoor mats are designed without backing to help facilitate the flow of water below the walkway; select this type of mat in areas that get very wet such as in locker rooms and directly around pools and spas

 • "Grit" can build up around wet and slippery areas; choose mats that allow moisture to flow through the mat but which also capture and trap soils, grit, and debris.  This helps keep walkways safe and clean

 • Because most people are barefoot when walking around a pool or spa, mats with anti-bacterial and anti-fungal additives applied to them help inhibit fungus and bacterial growth that can cause athlete's foot

 • Most pool and spa areas will have staff "standing stations," for instance where food is served; these areas collect moisture and debris.  Modular drainage mats with connectors work well in these areas because they can fit irregularly sized areas.

"While these mats are designed to be very functional and promote safety, that does not mean they cannot be attractive," says Adam Strizzi, marketing director for Crown Matting Technologies.  "Pool and recreation managers will be surprised at how attractive and practical some [of these] mats can be."