It’s hot. I mean really, stinking hot. Nothing cures a summertime heat wave like a dip in the pool. And nothing helps you keep your sanity like your kids splashing with other kids at the pool. While pool time is always fun and refreshing there is a serious side to the fun. According to the American Red Cross, more than 200 kids drown in backyard swimming pools each year.
Here are 5 ways for your kids to stay safe in the pool this summer.
1) Arms Length
For small children, an adult should always be at arm's reach of them. This way assistance can be rendered immediately, avoiding a serious accident or the never fun water-up-the-nose-meltdown. Obviously if you have a 9 month old, you’ll most likely be holding them while they enjoy splishing and splashing. But you need to maintain your arm length distance even if your young one is on a float or wearing a floaty vest. This advice goes for all pools types of pools including in-ground and plastic pools in the backyard. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty, stay with your young one.
2) Don’t Drift Off
Many parents see the pool as an oasis for their sanity. I understand completely. If there isn’t a lifeguard on duty, then an adult needs to be watching the kids in the water at all times - regardless of swimming skills. So if you meet up with a group of other parents at your neighborhood pool, make a rotation as to who is watching the water.
3) Learn What to Do
If there is an accident at the pool make sure you know what to do. This can mean several different things. First it can mean knowing CPR. I’ve been certified in CPR and it’s comforting to know you can respond to a crisis. Second, you can know to call 911 and report an accident. Make sure to know the address of the pool you are in whether it be at a home, public or hotel pool. Pool injuries can be water related or not. Someone can easily cut their foot, so make sure there is a first aid kit nearby.
4) Swimming Lessons
The best way to prevent accidental drowning is to enroll your kids in swimming lessons. I took swimming lessons as a kid and I’m a good swimmer today. My son is taking them now and he’s a lot more confident in the water. When looking for swimming lessons in your area, consider the buddy system to lessons. My son and his best friend are taking lessons together. They bring out the best in each other. I’ve seen kids cry and scream while taking personal lessons. I think my son and his best friend are brave for each other and therefore have not feared the water.
5) Secure the Pool
An accident can happen in your pool at any time, not just a swim time. If you are responsible for a pool at your home, it is on you to make sure you have the proper barriers and signs. Put up a fence of at least 4 feet tall completely around your pool to stop toddlers from exploring the water up close. Make sure there is a self latching gate that is kid proof. Also cover your pool in the off season. This advice also stands for hot tubs as well.
So get out and enjoy the water this summer! Don’t forget to slather on plenty of SPF 1,000 and keep your kids close at hand. For more safety tips from The Secure Dad, make sure you sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram.