Summer is right around the corner! I don’t know about you, but I’m more than ready for the rising temperatures. Sunshine, sandals, swimming pools—I was born for this!
But as we splash into pool season, now’s the time to take the necessary precautions and learn how to make your pool safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of death among children between one and four and the second leading cause of death for children between five and fourteen.
Pool safety for kids is critical! To prevent drowning and other water-related accidents this summer, take a look at these eight pool safety rules.
Talk About Drowning Dangers
In the United States, there is an average of eleven drowning deaths each day—and children are at the highest risk. That’s a scary reality!
Have a clear conversation with your child about drowning dangers. You already teach your child to look both ways before crossing the street; let them know that water can be just as dangerous as speeding cars.
Help them understand that water isn’t bad. It can be lots of fun! But without caution and adult supervision, water isn’t safe for kids—even kids who can swim.
Start Swimming Lessons Early
Speaking of swimming, signing up your child for swimming lessons can significantly reduce drowning risks. While swimming lessons aren’t a guaranteed protection against drowning, they can help your child learn crucial flotation skills and feel more comfortable in the water.
If your child seems ready, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has given the go-ahead to begin swimming lessons as early as one year old. If that’s too soon for your little one, most children should be up for swimming lessons between four and six years old.
No matter your child’s age, water-play classes and other water activities introduce your child to the world of water. From interactive water tables to splash pads and more, exposure to water will empower your child to become more confident in the deep blue!
Be Equipped for Emergencies
An accident can happen in an instant around water—even if your child is a strong swimmer.
It never hurts to become certified in CPR. Having this knowledge will ensure you know exactly what to do in case of an emergency! To assist those who aren’t certified, print off CPR instructions and post them in multiple places around your pool. Be sure to add your address as well in case anyone needs to call an ambulance when you’re not present.
If you haven’t already, add rescue gear around your pool. A life preserver and shepherd’s hook can make a significant difference in saving a life. Always have your cell phone close by in case you need to call 9-1-1, too!
Invest in Covers, Fences & Gates
If you have a pool on your property, here’s how to make your pool safe:
- Surround the swimming pool with a fence at least four feet tall. Make sure the fence is sturdy, free from openings a child could crawl through, and unable to be climbed.
- Choose a self-closing and self-latching pool gate. Secure the pool gate with a lock when swimming time is over.
- Install a secure, lockable cover that keeps the entire pool covered. Floating pool covers may be more affordable, but it doesn’t take long for a little one to slip underneath. Be sure to cover hot tubs, whirlpools, and other smaller water features immediately after use, too.
- Clean up toys, towels, and other items from the pool area when everyone’s done swimming. Not only can they be tripping hazards, they might entice your child to get close to the water after hours.
This safety advice isn’t limited to in-ground swimming pools, either. Above-ground pools, inflatable pools, and other temporary pools should be safeguarded as well.
When it comes to your kids and water, you can never be too safe!
Turn to the Pool Professionals
Before swimming season begins, call a certified pool professional to inspect the safety of your swimming pool. They’ll have the qualifications to check out the function of your pool’s cover, drains, electrical components, fencing, and other features that may impact swimmer safety.
But when it comes to public pools, don’t worry. Thanks to the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, public and semi-public swimming pools and spas are required to have drain covers, drain configurations, and anti-entrapment systems to keep swimmers safe!
Buckle Up the Life Jacket
Though affordable, floatable, and fun, pool products like water wings, foam noodles, and inflatable rafts and tubes can offer a false sense of security. Don’t forget that while they can float, these items are toys! Children can lose their grip on, slip through, or fall off of these fun floaties.
Invest in a life jacket for your child. Make sure that it is appropriately fitted for their height and weight, approved by the United States Coast Guard, and properly secured whenever they’re in or near water.
Arm with an Alarm
For an added layer of protection at the pool, consider slipping an alarm onto your child. Wearable alarms can alert you when your child has fallen into a pool or is struggling to swim.
You can also install an alarm near or in the pool itself—or both! An alarm on the gate of your pool fencing can act as an initial alert or warning, while an alarm in the pool can notify you in case someone falls in and can’t make their way out.
But while these alarms are an awesome advancement, they aren’t entirely reliable. Like any form of technology, they can fail. From false alarms to costly malfunctions, an alarm isn’t a replacement for keeping an eye on the kids. Drowning doesn’t always look like choking on water or splashing around. Drowning is often silent, and the best protection against pool accidents is a watchful eye.
Put Your Phone Away & Pay Attention
No matter how comfortable and confident your child is in the water, never leave them unsupervised at the pool. A day at the pool can turn tragic in seconds. Constant adult supervision can save a child’s life!
At family barbeques, block parties, and other crowded events, team up with fellow parents and designate a “water watcher.” The “water watcher” will take charge of keeping an eye on the kids without distractions, like making a plate of food, engaging in conversation, or scrolling on social media. Rotate shifts to ensure everyone has a chance to mingle and enjoy one another’s company!
These pool safety rules aren’t the only parameters designed to protect your children during pool season. With Troomi, you can keep your kids safe from danger poolside and beyond! Through our remote-access Parent Portal, you can control the functionality of your kids’ phones. Turn them off when it’s time to swim to prevent distraction and drowning, then reinstate your custom settings afterwards! Click here to learn more about how Troomi shields children from harm.