Summer is in full swing here and for my family summer time is spent swimming. My girls, my husband and myself are true fish out of water. They love going in the pool. Plus along with swimming and frequenting pools comes the worry about safety for all entering. Therefore, it is up to us to be vigilant with this. But still make sure they are having fun at the same time. Thus when I was approached about sharing some pool safety for kids, I was more then happy to do so.
So, please read on to today’s guest post for some valuable summertime pool safety for all now.
“Mom, look what I can do.” Your son begins running to get around to the diving board.
“Jimmy, you know the pool rules. What did I say about running?” Your son sheepishly slows to a walk.
Kid love being around the water, and you love watching them have fun. But you also want them to be safe.
Here are 8 pool safety tips on how to make the pool a safe place for the kids:
1. Have clear rules.
If the kids don’t know what you expect of them at the pool, how can they know what is acceptable behavior? Therefore have a family meeting, and clearly tell the kids what the rules are at your family pool. At this point, make clear things like “no running at the pool,” and “don’t swim unless we are present.” See kids forget things. So if necessary, repeat the rules several times so that they retain them. Here are some great additional resources with more information about pool rules for kids:
• 5 Public Swimming Pool Safety Tips to Protect Your Kids
2. The rules have consequences.
It’s not a new concept that kids will push boundaries. If the kids don’t think they have to follow them, the rules aren’t much good. Therefore, if the child breaks a rule, remind them the first time. Still, if they repeat the behavior, make them sit outside the pool for a few minutes. But if it happens again, send them inside the house for a timeout. See if the kids know you are serious about the rules, they’re more likely to mind them. Thus, sitting inside the house while everyone else is out at the pool will get their attention.
3. Limit pool access.
If the kids can just walk out the back door and into the pool area, there’s a risk that they will go swimming when you’re not there. Therefore a fence is essential. Because it gives you control over who can be at the pool and make sure the kids aren’t tempted to sneak out for a swim while you’re out shopping. The fence should be at least 4 feet high, and have a locking gate on it. Plus, put an alarm on the gate and any doors that access the pool. So an audible signal will sound if someone attempts access. If there is a window that faces the pool – put an alarm on it as well.
4. Safety essentials are a must.
Have a first aid kit nearby, and in a known location. So, it is readily accessible. Also, put emergency numbers in a prominent place near the phone. Plus, anyone who is supervising children at the pool should be CPR certified. Likewise, have rescue equipment like a shepherd’s hook or life preserver near the pool. Hopefully you won’t need any of these items, but being prepared is key to handling an emergency if it does arise.
5. Constant alertness.
If you are in charge of watching the kids, be vigilant. See it doesn’t take very long for a child to inhale a gulp of water, panic and get into trouble. If you’re in the house fixing snacks, or texting on your phone, you’re not in a position to respond to that child when they need it.
6. Touch supervision.
If you have children younger than 5 years of age, make sure the adult is within arm’s length of the child. Plus with toddlers and babies, they should always be held in a parent’s arms.
7. Clear the pool.
After the family comes in from swimming, remove toys from the pool and put them away. Why? Because a child might be tempted to reach for that toy floating in the water.
8. Don’t forget swimming lessons.
At the appropriate age, enroll the children in swim lessons, which can greatly reduce the chance of accidental drowning.
“Mom, look what I can do.” You watch and smile as your child very appropriately walks around to the diving board to show you his latest trick. See it’s very satisfying to see safety measures in action.
*Kaitlin Gardner writes for AnApplePerDay.com. She currently lives in Pennsylvania and is married to her best friend. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking and enjoy nature. She has just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.