Pools provide easy entertainment in the summer, and they are a great way to beat the heat! However, it is important for families to continue being diligent in and around water, as drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for children ages 1 to 18. Whether your kids spend time at a community or backyard pool, please take time to read this safety refresher.
10 things to know and teach your kids about pool safety:
Do not leave children alone in or near a pool
This includes inflatable and other children’s pools. An adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision” for infants and toddlers. For older children, an adult should be paying constant attention and be free from distractions. The supervising adult must know how to swim. NOTE: Lifeguards are wonderful people to have around in case of an emergency, but they are watching a lot of children at once – always supervise your own children, or make sure a responsible adult has eyes on them at your request.
Get your kids into swimming lessons
Kids of all ages can benefit from swimming lessons. However, teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT guarantee that he or she is safe in water.
Have a phone nearby
If there is an emergency, having a phone by the pool can help get the proper emergency personnel there quickly.
Do not leave a toy in or around a pool
This is especially important if there are not adults in or around the pool. It may tempt a child to jump in after it.
Do not leave water in an inflatable or plastic pool after use
If you use one of these types of pools in your backyard, make sure you dump the water out and turn the pool upside down when finished.
Use a fence
If you have a pool at your home, install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool. Pool covers and pool alarms are not a substitute for fencing. Make sure the gates in the fence self-close and self-latch at a height small children can’t reach.
Locate safety equipment
No matter where your family is swimming, know where the rescue equipment is. This includes a shepherd’s hook (a long pole with a hook on the end) and a life preserver.
Avoid unapproved inflatable swimming aids
This includes “floaties” for young children. They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security.
Avoid roughhousing in and around water
Teach children and teens to never run, push or jump on others around water, as the risk of injury is too great. Also counsel teenagers about the increased risk of drowning when alcohol is involved.
Know your pool
Make sure your kids are familiar with the pool, including its depth. They should never dive into an unknown depth or one that is too shallow.
It’s important to know that children can drown in even the smallest body of water, including toilets, decorative fountains, portable pools, buckets and bath tubs. Children should be supervised by an adult if they are around any of these types of standing water.
From fireworks to bike rides, there’s no doubt that summer is filled with outdoor fun. Learn how to keep your family safe throughout the warmest season of the year.