Summertime means longer days, later nights, lots of watermelon and, of course, pool days! With that fun comes the need to keep our kids safe at the pool. Besides practicing safe sun exposure, here are a few more ways to make sure your kids are safe at the pool so you can have a fun and safe summer.
Put Your Kids in Swim Lessons
Any child who can crawl and has access to a pool should be in a swim class. For babies, self-rescue classes are a popular way to make sure your they can save themselves if they fall in the pool. Older kids, of course, can learn in a more relaxed and fun setting but should always be taught to respect the water and practice safe pool practice.
Personally, I prefer a hybrid style of swimming class where the children as young as six months learn to swim to their parent, get to the edge of the pool or the stairs, and also learn to float if they fall in. It allows children to be safe and also have fun. Be sure to ask each swim teacher what their style is and choose one that feels like a nice fit for you and your little ones.
Limit Access to a Pool
Most states have legal safety standards that are required when permitting pools. Often this includes a fence or gate of a certain height to keep kids from wandering into the pool. Be sure to follow them! Even if your state or area does not require a fence or a gate, consider installing one with a child-proof opening. Lock any exterior doors that lead to the pool so smaller children don’t let themselves out without supervision.
Use a Pool Alarm
A pool alarm sits on the edge of the pool and, when activated, will sound an alarm when the surface tension of the water is broken. That means you’ll know immediately if someone jumps or falls into the pool. Make sure you turn on the alarm after swimming each time.
Establish Pool Rules
While you and your children are enjoying time at the pool, always go over the safety rules with them. These rules might change based on your kids’ ages but they should include things like no running around the pool deck, no putting your hands on each other in the pool, and only jumping into the deep end when it’s clear (if the pool size and depth allows). You should also have rules about food and glass containers in the pool.
Supervise Your Children
No amount of alarms, gates, or swim knowledge can replace proper supervision. Most pool accidents happen in large crowds when there are so many people around that everyone assume someone else is watching the kids. Always keep an eye on your own children or have someone exclusively assigned to watch the pool. Avoid drinking while supervising children in the pool as it slows reaction time.
Don’t let your anxiety or fear around a pool keep you from having fun this summer. Be aware of the danger and respectful of the water while enjoying this summer activities.