The summer is almost here, which means that we’ll finally get to jump back into the swimming pools and enjoy cooling off in the water on a sunny summer day. However, parents need to be extremely careful while their young kids are in/around the water to avoid dreadful accidents and unfortunate consequences.
Pool safety is no joke, especially when you have kids who don’t know how to swim or aren’t that comfortable in the water yet. Experts warn that a small child may drown even when the depth of water is one of two inches. As many of them argue, portable pools are even more risk-prone than traditional in-ground ones. Due to the fact that those water basins are usually quite small and easy to install, adults underestimate the danger factor and don’t pay as much attention to their kids as they should while the little ones play in the water. The statistics are quite devastating, as according to the researchers of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one child drowns in those kid’s pools every five days in the U.S. during the swimming season. In most cases, it happens at home, right in the child’s backyard. Can you believe that???
Despite the risks that emerge the moment you allow a child into a swimming pool, I wouldn’t rob my little ones of the joys of swimming, splashing and playing with toys in the water. That’s something children (and adults, to be honest) look forward the most when thinking about summer. Furthermore, swimming is a rather beneficial form of exercise for children. While banning your kids from the swimming pool to keep them safe isn’t necessarily the best idea, making sure that they remain under constant adult supervision when in the water, as well as taking a couple of swimming pool safety precautions, is unconditionally obligatory.
The following rules will help you keep your kids safe in the swimming pool and let them make the most of their favorite summer activities.
Swimming pool safety tips for kids and their parents
- Enroll your kids in swimming lessons so that they obtain the skill that may potentially save their lives in dangerous situations, as well as allow them to enjoy the swimming time to the fullest extent. Your child may start swimming lessons as early as at 6 months old. Moreover, the younger your child starts learning to swim, the more comfortable he/she will feel in water and the easier the process will be for him/her. However, don’t let a child in the 1 to 4 age group swim unattended even if he does great at his swimming lessons and feels completely comfortable in the water. The same applies to older kids who obtain swimming skills but aren’t too great in the water, as they may suddenly panic and start drowning.
- Make sure that your kids don’t have an access to the pool when they play in the backyard alone. For that matter, ask a fencing contractor install a secure fence around your in-ground swimming pool (with a self-locking locking mechanism a young child can’t figure out or open), remove ladders from the inflatable swimming pools and don’t let your toddlers/preschoolers play in paddling pools without adult supervision. When it comes to fencing, it should be at least 4ft high and surround the pool from all sides.
- Keep a close eye on your kids when they swim even if they wear life jackets or use various pool floats. Also, explain your children how to behave around the pool and how to use pool accessories so they don’t slip on the decks, don’t dive in a forbidden area, don’t play too harsh with each other, don’t jump on each other’s shoulders and don’t step into the pool without asking for permission.
- When arranging a pool party and inviting a bunch of kids, make sure to hire enough lifeguards to observe children the whole time when they’re swimming or entrust the adults with that task.
- Swimming pool safety isn’t just about making sure that no one drowns or gets injured. It’s also about avoiding the harmful effects of the swimming pool water. For that matter, sign up to regular pool maintenance services and keep the swimming pool environment clean and safe. This should prevent skin problems related to the misbalanced chemical levels, as well as possible infections caused by the bacteria spread.
- Tell your kids to have a break and come out of the pool every so often, as they get worn out quite quickly. Don’t let them back into the water until they catch enough rest and possible have a snack.
- When taking your kid to a public pool or a water park with slides and slippery surfaces, assess your child’s skills realistically and don’t let him go on steep slides or diving boards that lead into deep water if you have the slightest hesitation that he can’t cope with them. Most importantly, explain to your child what will happen on a certain ride/slide when he goes on it for the first time. This way, your kid will know what to expect and decide if he’s comfortable with it. Then, he won’t panic and put himself in danger.
Apart from teaching your kids water responsibility, act as a responsible parent. Don’t get distracted by another parent, a book or a phone while your kids are in the water. A split second may make a difference. A single moment may be worthy of your child’s life. Have fun safely.