Pool safety should be the number one priority for any pool owner. This is especially true for those who have children. Just as you take special precautions to childproof your home, such as covering electrical outlets and setting up baby gates to prevent falls, it’s important to do all you can to keep kids safe around the pool.
Take Pool Safety Seriously
Though it may seem a bit negative of a topic to discuss, drowning deaths are not uncommon among children. Drowning fatalities are the second leading cause of accidental injury-related deaths for kids between the ages of one and 14 years of age, according to statistics from the CDC. This tragic reality should make everyone who owns a pool all the more vigilant about establishing pool safety rules and taking other measures to prevent drowning.
Here are some of the basic guidelines which pool owners should keep in mind when it comes to keeping kids as safe as possible around the pool.
Always Insist on Adult Supervision
There should never be a time that any child is allowed to swim in or even be near your pool without careful adult supervision. You also need to be aware of the type of supervision that’s necessary for children of different ages and ability levels. Even though the older and more experienced a child becomes as a swimmer, they should still be watched closely any time they are in the pool. This means you need to have a designated adult who is entrusted with the responsibility of directly watching kids the whole time they’re in the water. If kids aren’t being looked after closely while they swim, a drowning tragedy is far more likely to occur.
Let’s take a closer look at the different age groups of kids and the right amount of supervision that’s necessary to keep them safe in the pool.
Toddlers Require Up-Close and Personal Supervision
Because toddlers don’t have well-developed motor skills, communication skills, or reasoning ability, it’s vital to watch them like a hawk when they’re in the water. It’s not enough to just watch them from a lounge chair on the deck. At this age, a child should be within arm’s length of an adult at all times while they’re in the water. Even kiddie pools are not a safe place to leave toddlers unattended as they can still drown in shallow water.
Restricting toddlers from being able to access the pool is a must. Children at this age can move surprisingly quickly, and they’re known for trying to sneak into areas where they aren’t supposed to be. If you have a pool and there are toddlers around, make sure that there are measures in place to prevent them from entering the pool without you realizing it.
In our next article, we’ll look at how your role as an adult supervisor can adjust as your children get older. Then we’ll move on to look at some of the other basic safety guidelines which every pool owner should follow.
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