Home - Water Safety for Children: Crucial Things Parents Should Know
Water safety for children is some of the most important knowledge in every parent’s toolbox.
Having a pool is one of those things that enhances your family’s life and ends up being worth every penny. From escaping the summer heat while having fun at the same time, to just relaxing poolside after work, a pool makes a huge difference in your enjoyment of life.
However, there’s a darker side to pools, especially in households that have children.
Hundreds of children under the age of 15 drown in American pools every year.
That’s a dark statistic to think about, but the ray of light in the numbers is these drownings are almost always preventable. It just takes a few commonsense precautions on the part of parents.
Today, we’re going to go through tips on water safety for children you should follow to make sure everyone has a great time next summer and stays safe while enjoying the pool.
The first thing you need to know is how to identify a potential drowning situation. While prevention is crucial, things go wrong all the time, and you must know when to take action.
When you imagine drowning, you probably think about arms flailing wildly and people screaming. That’s not the case.
Instead, drowning is usually silent, because the person can’t get the oxygen necessary to speak or yell for help. There usually aren’t any dramatic signs, either.
The best thing to look for is the child’s head back trying to get their mouth to the surface, and their arms will usually be pointed downward in an attempt to breach the surface for air.
The main preventative measure is to ensure there is always a responsible adult supervising any children using the pool. The adult should be sober minded, paying attention, and aware of what to do in case of an emergency. If all the other things we talk about throughout this article fail, a responsible adult can at least take action or stop behaviors that lead to dangerous situations.
Not every threat posed by a pool has to do with drowning. There is also a significant slip hazard to consider.
The area around your pool is going to get wet. Depending on the surface, it might get slippery. There isn’t much you can do to prevent this beyond being cautious and putting down non-slip mats, but you can reduce the risk of injury by decluttering the area around the pool to create clear pathways. Then, the chance of slipping is lessened, and even if a slip does occur, there isn’t nearly as much to fall into and be hurt by.
Of course, paramount is to teach your children running around the pool isn’t safe.
You can’t always guard your pool. So, the next three items on the list are meant to keep children safe when you’re not around to supervise them.
First, you need a pool cover or safety net that stretches across the pool when it’s not in use.
This prevents children from sneaking into the pool when no one is around, and it helps ensure that people who don’t have permission can’t enter your pool even if they find a way to access the pool area. A pool is an enticing home feature for young children. So, you have to think about neighborhood children trying to go for a dip while you’re gone, as well.
The next crucial safety measure is a pool fence with a lockable pool gate. Even if you have a cover, older children can figure out how to pull it back and access the pool anyway. In some ways, this can make a dangerous situation even worse if they don’t remove the cover all the way and get stuck under it.
Getting a tall pool fence, that has no room to squeeze through or under the fence, and can be locked securely, prevents children from accessing the pool area when they’re not supposed to.
Pool Guard USA can answer any questions you have about pool fences and gates if you need to get one installed, such as what specifications you should look for in the optimal fence.
We covered the five most important things you need to know about pool safety, but there are several other pool accessories and minor everyday things you can implement to help make your pool safe for everyone.
Having necessary safety items near the pool at all times, such as rescue donuts, can be extremely useful if anything goes wrong.
There should also be life vests or water wings available for any children expected to use the pool. Until they’re proficient swimmers, not having these life-saving devices available is an accident waiting to happen.
This isn’t just for kids. Having CPR instructions posted near the pool can be life-saving for kids, teens, and adults.
If you buy a pool, you should learn basic CPR practices, but what if you step inside while another adult supervises for a while, and they don’t know what to do? The steps are different for babies, children, and adults. So, having a detailed instructional sign posted can help pool users get the process right even if they’re not trained for it.
Immediately after a pool incident, it is almost always necessary to get a child checked out by a doctor. Drowning can occur hours later with no signs due to “dry drowning,” limbs can break or concussions can be caused by slipping, and in general, a lot of life-threatening things can happen in or around a pool. Always make sure you have your phone nearby to call for professional help immediately without leaving the child’s side if something happens.
Finally, the best way to protect your kids around the pool is to teach them proper pool safety. Explain why running around the pool is dangerous, how to notice when someone is drowning, what types of behaviors can put them in these positions, etc.
Even if your child knows how to behave safely around the pool, these things are still required, but they’re a lot less likely to mean the difference between life and death.
If you’d like to learn more about pool safety or install a pool fence to secure your pool, contact us at Pool Guard USA today!
Pool Guard USA is a US-based pool safety equipment manufacturer.
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