Pool safety for children begins with proper supervision and adult safety preparation (see Parts 1 & 2). Once these have been taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to getting the child ready to be safe in the water. This starts with what the child is wearing while in the water.
Make Sure Children Wear Safe Attire in the Water
If a child can’t swim at all or they aren’t a strong swimmer, they should be outfitted in a life jacket or vest that is approved as a flotation device by the U.S. Coast Guard. You can allow your child to pick a life jacket that’s their favorite color or that has a design they especially like. Giving them a say in the choice of their life vest may make them more compliant about keeping it on when they’re in the water. They need to understand that they have to leave the life jacket on at all times while they’re in the water, unless you specifically allow them to take it off during times where you’re close by or during swimming instruction. Which brings us to our next important point.
Teach the Child to Swim
One of the most effective ways to prevent drowning is to teach a child to swim. Since swimming instructors are trained to know techniques that are ideal for helping kids master life-saving skills in the water, it’s a great idea to enroll them in swimming lessons. You can find a certified teacher who offers private lessons or take them to classes at your local municipal pool.
These swimming classes can start as early as six months old. Typically, baby and toddler classes also involve parents who will hold the child while they’re in the pool to help them become familiar with being in the water. At around four years old many children are ready to begin swim lessons on their own. An experienced instructor can help you to decide when your child is ready for swim lessons.
Ideally, children should keep on taking swimming classes until they learn foundational skills like floating, treading water, and mastering how to get out of the water if they ever accidentally fall into a pool. The longer they stay in their swimming classes and the more experienced they become, the better. However, never allow a child’s increased swimming abilities to cause you to shirk your adult pool supervision duties. Kids don’t always make the wisest decisions when they’re in the water. In fact, if a child thinks he is a strong swimmer, he may have a tendency to take unnecessary risks or overexert himself while in the water. That’s why even kids who are strong swimmers need an adult to keep a constant eye on them every time they’re in the pool.
Now that we’ve covered adult supervision, learning CPR, making children wear life jackets and teaching them to swim, it’s time to focus on child safety training. In our next article, we’ll take a look at some of the pool rules you can teach to children to help them stay safe while they’re in or around the water.
Read More About Swimming Pools
Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.