Pool Safety Tips: Keeping Kids Safe Around the Pool
Swimming pools can cause extreme parental fear and anxiety if you have a child or children who cannot swim. Most parents will agree and can relate to this fear. When you become a parent, one of the first things you learn is that a child can drown in less than 2 inches of water. I remember visiting a relative, who owned a pool, with my toddler son for the first time. He wanted to run straight for the pretty, clear water! I was a total wreck the entire visit fearing that as soon as I blinked my eyes, my son would do a swan dive into the deep end.
Swimming pools are certainly not something to be deathly afraid of, but they do require a healthy amount of respect. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, nearly 140 children died from drowning in a pool or spa, during the summer of 2012 (most current data.) With some common sense and by taking some reasonable safety precautions, there is no reason why your family cannot enjoy a nice visit with someone who owns a swimming pool. On the other side of the coin, if you yourself are a pool owner, please heed these recommendations and help alleviate your friends and families stress when they visit with small children.
Here are a few basic, yet highly important, swimming pool safety tips:
1. Stay calm. Being around a swimming pool is not a reason for a full blown panic attack. You can be vigilant and enjoy yourself at the same time.
2. Watch children closely… at all times! Do not leave children unsupervised. As a parent, you know what can happen if you walk out of a room, or even turn your head.
3. Highly recommend that whoever is supervising is trained in CPR in case of an emergency. Always make sure you have a phone available to call 911 if necessary.
4. Invest in quality swim lessons. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends formal swim lessons for all children begin at age 4. However, they also condone other, non-swim, aquatic programs for younger children beginning in infancy. This will prepare your older child for lessons when the time comes. In my opinion, this is one of the most responsible things we can do as parents; equip our children by making sure they become a capable swimmer.
5. Make sure the pool has the appropriate safety equipment installed including a surrounding fence with self-closing, self-latching gates, gate alarm, lockable safety cover, and compliant safety drain covers. You may visit Acepools.com to find this type of safety equipment.
6. Don’t rely on flotation devices to serve as life-saving equipment.
These are obviously just a few of many, many safety measures we can take to keep our children safe around swimming pools. If you own a pool, please consider investing in safety equipment. If you have children or children visit your pool, please invest some time learning about pool and water safety.
Below are links to some very good published articles with more detailed information: