Pool safety is a large concern for many parents. Each year, thousands of children die from drowning and many of these deaths occur in residential swimming pools. To prevent these sorts of tragedies, it is important that you not only understand the importance of pool safety but you also understand how to implement it.
- Teach your child to swim. Learning how to swim is considered a survival skill and if your child knows the basics of swimming, then they will be able to keep themselves afloat long enough to prevent a drowning. There are many other benefits to knowing how to swim – more enjoyment from water-based activities, the social aspect of swimming lessons – but primarily knowing how to swim could save your child’s life.
- Use safety devices. If you are looking for safety devices that can help to assist you in pool safety, you may want to consider purchasing life-jackets, arm floaties or baby floats. Smaller life-jackets are available for swimming pools and stable floats with leg holes can help to keep lightweight children above water. Arm floaties are ideal for older children to help them stay afloat. As with any safety measure, close proximity and supervision of your child is extremely important.
- Provide constant supervision. This may go without saying, but keeping an eye on your child at all times while they are swimming is paramount to their safety. Drowning can happen so quickly and while it may take 3 to 4 minutes for a person to drown, they typically only struggle at the surface for 20-60 seconds. Looking away, even for a few moments, could be fatal.
- Follow safety practices. Most public pools post safety rules designed to prevent death or injury while families enjoy their facilities. However, privately owned pools (such as one in a backyard) may not display such warnings, so it is important that you know for yourself how to keep your little swimmers safe.
In July 2004, The Lifesaving Society released a document outlining Private Pool Safety Standards:
- Walk, don’t run.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Do NOT dive into shallow water.
- Play safe. Do not push others into the pool.
- Always enter from the poolside or diving board. Never dive or jump into the water from any other structure.
- Swim only in daylight unless the pool is properly lit.
- Allow only one person at a time on diving boards and slides.
- Protect yourself from the hazards of the sun.
Unfortunately, when it comes to pool safety there are many adults who are misinformed and assume that basic flotation devices are sufficient in keeping their child safe in the water. Believing this may put your child at risk and parents are advised to follow all other safety procedures to provide their children with the best available protection.
We’d love to hear from you! Follow us on Instagram (@peacefulparents_) for more photos and child safety tips.