Last updated on May 16th, 2021 at 10:08 pm
The following content is for informational purposes only. This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are having a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
It’s that time of year when every parent (and grandparent and aunt and uncle) worries about pool safety. The high heat has overtaken the vast majority of our country which means lots of time spent at the pool with the kids!
Don’t let fear put a damper on your summer fun. Instead, pull on all the swim diapers, swimsuits, floaties, and goggles, and enjoy this classic summertime activity. Because, by the end of this post, you’ll be armed with pool safety tips that will keep everyone safe all summer long!
Pool Safety Tips
1. Teach your child to swim. Or, enroll him/her in swimming lessons. There are many places that can teach even babies to find their way to the pool wall if they fall in. Equip your children with the ability to protect themselves with swim lessons. You’ll still need to keep a watchful eye on your little swimmers, and make sure the environment is safe (think undertow in the ocean/lake, overcrowded pools, open drains, etc.). But you can breathe a little easier knowing your littles can navigate the water well.
2. Keep your eyes on your child. This is the MOST important thing you can do to keep your child safe! You’re in a season of life when lounging by the pool with a good book is on hold. Put the devices down too. It’s essential to keep your eyes on the pool. You will want to keep your phone nearby for quick access in case of emergency, but otherwise, keep your eyes up. And this is key: do not assume another adult or even the lifeguard is watching your child. If you need to walk away, designate someone to keep an eye on your kid. Personal experience has taught me that no matter how many adults are around, your own child can easily slip out of sight.
3. Be prepared for any situation. Educate yourself on what to do should a pool-related emergency arise. Learn CPR. Knowing how to swim yourself will certainly come in handy! Here are a few things you want to be sure to bring along every pool day:
- First aid kit (including scissors)
- Cell phone
- Flotation devices–that means US Coast Guard-approved life jackets
4. Communicate safety expectations to your child. Kids don’t always understand the dangers of the water. There’s no need to scare them into hiding from water! But it is incredibly important that they are aware of what’s expected. For example, poor swimmers and non-swimmers should be wearing a life jacket at all times. Only your strongest swimmers should be allowed in the deep end. Horseplay needs restrictions so no one gets stuck under the water. You know your kids, so consider their tendencies when setting up the rules. You may need to have a little huddle when you arrive at the pool to reinforce expectations and adjust them based on the pool you’re enjoying that day. And, of course, no one should ever swim alone.
5. Ensure your own pool is a safe environment. Owning your own backyard pool requires a whole set of safety rules that you wouldn’t have to think about otherwise. All of the above tips continue to apply, but here are some quick safety tips for your own pool:
- Install a safety barrier. This could be a fence or something even more secure such as a polycarbonate pool enclosure.
- Have safety equipment on the premises, including a first aid kit, various floatation devices, and a spine board.
- Ensure that all drains have adequate covers.
- Install a pool alarm that will alert you should anyone enter the pool without your permission (accidental or otherwise!).
These simple safety tips will allow your whole family to enjoy a summer full of pool fun!
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