Essential Pool Safety Tips
Pools are a great way to keep us entertained all year round, however safety is an important factor to consider. Tragically, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional deaths for children between the ages of 1 and 4 and the second leading cause for those between 5 and 14. The number of these deaths have continued to rise despite the reality that most, if not all of these drownings could have been prevented. That is why it is so important that anyone who will be watching your children around water be aware of these pool safety tips.
Never Leave Children Unattended
The number one pool safety tip is to never leave children unattended. It doesn’t matter how good they are at swimming or if you will only be gone for a minute. Accidents happen quickly, and they happen quietly. Oftentimes during accidental drownings, parents are present but simply not watching as closely as they should. Parties or other large group events can also be dangerous, as it is easy to assume someone is watching. For these events it is a good idea to either hire a professional or designate someone to specifically watch the children. Breaking this up into 15-minute intervals helps to alleviate the pressure on any one parent.
Teach Your Children How to Swim
This seems to go without saying but making sure that your children know how to swim and float properly is essential for keeping them safe. If you don’t feel comfortable teaching your children how to swim, enrolling them in swimming lessons is a great way for kids to burn off extra energy and keep them safe anywhere there’s water.
Pool Safety Tips #3 Avoid Drains
One culprit of accidental drownings that is often overlooked are pool drains. These create a strong suction when removed or broken, especially in shallow areas. Bathing suits, hair, limbs can all get sucked into these openings trapping the child’s head below water and sadly ending in tragedy. Make sure that you or someone responsible is aware of where any shut off systems are and make sure all drains are in good working condition before allowing your children to get into a pool.
Installing a barrier to your pool is one of the best things you can do to keep your children safe. A fence at least four feet high should be used to completely surround the pool. Special pool fences have been designed to prevent children from climbing over the fence or accessing the pool while not under supervision. Gates for these barriers should also be both self-latching and self-closing.
Use Other Safety Devices
Another pool safety tips are other safety devices that you can use in addition to a fence, such as an alarm which floats in the pool that sounds if there’s disruption to the water. Pool covers can also be used as long as they are installed properly. Many parents find that using a door alarm makes them feel more confident that their children have not accessed the backyard without them knowing makes them feel more confident that their children have not accessed the backyard without them knowing. These alarms go off if a door that leads to the pool has been opened.
Make sure that you and any other supervising adult knows how to properly perform CPR. Classes that teach you the correct way to perform CPR for children can mean the difference between life and death. Typically, these classes are available through hospitals, community centers, and the American Red Cross. Most times you or another supervising adult will be the first person to begin lifesaving measures before any medical professionals can arrive. Knowing how to do this properly is an essential pool safety aspect.
Drownings happen quickly and more often than we realize. Without the proper safety features in place and the proper supervision, these tragedies will continue to occur. Making sure that you, your children, and anyone that will be watching them are aware of these safety aspects and what to do in case of an emergency can keep your children safe while still allowing them to enjoy the pool on a hot summer day.