Living in South Florida our pediatricians often speak of swimming lessons for our children at a very young age. Surrounded by water and pool’s being open year round it is important for our children to know about safety when around water. I took my youngest son to many swimming lessons when he was just 1 or 2 years old.
Swimming lessons is more than just teaching children how to swim. The first steps are teaching them to be safe. How to float, how to get to the edge of the pool. You would be surprised how quickly children can get in trouble, even in the backyard with tons of people around.
7 Pool Safety Tips
- Supervision – Always make sure an adult is watching your child at all times. Never assume someone has eyes on them. If your child is missing, the first place to look is the pool.
- Landline phone – No cell phones. Make sure you have a designated phone by the pool at all times to pick up and dial 911 in case of an emergency.
- Pool fence – this is a very important barrier that aids (not prevents) keeping children away from the water when the pool is not in use
- Door alarms – Always know when any of your doors are being opened (especially doors that lead to the pool). Once you hear this tone, you immediately know where to look to prevent tragedy.
- Pool Pump – Do you know where your pool pump is located and how to turn it off? VERY IMPORTANT. If someone’s hair or clothing gets caught in the drain, you will NEVER be able to pull them out. You MUST turn the pool pump off in order to release the person.
- Pool Floaties – Always have your pool filled with floaties. They are not only for those who love such accessories but are also a great pool safety essential. Customized pool floaties let you choose the right type and size according to your children so that they could easily get hold of it and learn to swim. However, having a pool float doesn’t mean you can let children alone. Always keep an eye on your kids while they are in the pool.
- Toys Around The Pool – Toys around the pool act as magnets. Children see the toys, reach for them and that is when tragedy happens. You must remove all toys for the safety of children.
- Shepard’s Hook – Make sure you have one around the pool at all times. If someone is in a situation in the pool, the Shepard’s hook will aid in the rescue of the individual in need. It is not safe for another person to jump in to do a rescue if you are not trained.
These are all great tips and I can tell you that we have had our fair share of small scares when it comes to the pool. Many years ago my husband and I were at a friends house enjoying a outside barbeque. My youngest son was only a couple months old and my oldest was three. I was sitting under the shade feeding my youngest son and the rest of the adults were in the pool enjoying a fun game of volleyball. I was only about 15 feet from the pool and my oldest son was sitting at my feet. I did not notice that he had decided to go into the pool with everyone else. Thankfully a friend saw him after he stepped into the pool and was able to pull him up.
You would think more people would mean more eyes on your child, however often everyone thinks someone else is watching. If you are going to spend time around the pool this summer then keep these pool safety tips in mind.
Tips courtesy of Baby Otter Swim School