Headed to the pool with the kids in tow? Yes, pool time is one of the most looked forward to summer activities, especially for kids and parents. While the kids can splash around, moms and dads can either join them in the pool or just cool off reading a book and lounging on a deck chair.
However, as tempting as it may seem to let the kids splash around, pool safety should always be at the top of your mind. According to the CDC, “Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.” Also, children aged 1-4 have the highest drowning rates.
So, the next time you take the kids swimming, keep these pool safety tips in mind:
1. Always Keep an Eye on The Splashing
As much as we’d think that our kids will yell if they’re in trouble, it doesn’t always happen. Keeping a constant watch on your kids in the pool will help you act fast should you notice that they’re struggling. If there are more parents around in your group, assign lifeguard duties so there will always be eyes on the kids.
2. Teach Kids How to Swim
Kids can be taught swimming once they’re around 3 to 4 years of age. However, while that is an added precaution, it shouldn’t mean that kids who know swimming can be left unsupervised in the pool. Swimming classes should also focus on water safety such as treading water and getting to the side of the pool.
3. Invest in Proper Swimming Gear
Take the time and spend the money to buy Coast Guard approved flotation devices and check the weight and size recommendations on the label. Make your child try it on to ensure a snug fit. Also, as silly as this may sound, make sure you use them when the kids are in the pool.
4. Keep Toys Out of the Pool
While the colorful pool noodles and blow-up toys look cute and delightful, keep them out of the pool when the kids are there. Kids may be tempted to try and reach for them without realizing they’re getting into the deep end. Worse, kids on the outside may fall into the pool while trying to get to a toy that catches their eye. So, yes, keep them away.
5. Enforce and Follow Safety Rules
According to the Red Cross, every family should enforce safety rules and follow them as well. These could include not letting anyone play around drains and suction fittings. Besides that, follow the big blue safety signs at the pool as well. Make sure that kids know that they’re not supposed to be diving or heading anywhere they’re not supposed to go.
Finally, with all the pool safety rules in place, it is vital that parents and guardians know what they’re supposed to do in an emergency. The Red Cross has some good guidelines in place as well as an online home pool safety course. In any case, always have safety equipment handy, keep an eye on your kids and know how and when to call the emergency numbers.
Make this season of pools and swimming a safe and stress-free one! What do YOU think are must-know pool safety tips for parents of young kids?
Written By: Parenting Contributor, Prerna Malik, themomwrites.com