Pool Rules for Safer Swimming
Summer, by far, is my favorite season. Summer means that the temperatures are getting warmer, so we break out our swimsuits for the season and head to the pool. Who doesn’t love spending their summer days cooling off in the pool?
Our priority as parents is to keep our kids safe in the pool. Having toddlers near the water by the deep end is enough to make any parent sweat.
We need to ensure that our children are safe by the water. I have heard far too many stories this summer about kids almost drowning, which is every parent's worst nightmare.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “Drowning is the second cause of unintentional death in children ages 1-4. Approximately 830 children die every year of unintentional drowning accidents, and 3600 drowning injuries. Children under the age of 3, drowning is the third leading cause of death”.
When I was younger, I had my own scary experience around water that haunts me to this day.
As a kid, I have so many memories going deep sea fishing with my dad. I have one particular memory that will stay with me for life.
I was about five years old, and we went on a fishing trip. As we were wrapping up our day from a long day of deep-sea fishing, I decided to walk down the dock and was not paying attention and fell off the into the water.
As I was sinking deeper in the water and not being able to breathe I vaguely remember my brother pulling me out of the water, and I was being pulled out, I came out with one shoe.
It took that quick second of my dad turning his back. Water incidents happen that quick; it is a scary thought. I believe much of my anxiety with my kids around the water is from this particular incident.
Since we are at the pool so much, there need to be ground rules around the water.
Water safety is one of the most important lessons you can teach your children. My kids are tired of me hammering the pool rules in their heads, but I will do this every time we go around water. It only takes moments for your kids to drown.
Before going to the pool, always establish a set of ground rules before going near the water. Set the ground rules that you are comfortable with according to the child’s age and swim level.
Simple rules like no running or jumping can help your children from potential slips falls and injuries that can have extreme consequences.
Build a Fence
If you have a pool in your yard, build a fence. I have heard way too many stories of children wandering into yards and drowning.
A fence can at the very least deter children from wandering into your yard and drowning, or if you have small children, this can give you peace of mind, so they don’t wander out when you are sleeping.
Another tip is after everyone is finished swimming make sure all the toys and floats are out of the pool, so there is no temptation to go into the pool.
Adult Supervision is such an obvious rule, but I can’t tell you how many times parents let older siblings watch their younger siblings or rely on lifeguards to watch their children. Sibling watching young siblings is not adult supervision. Children five years and younger should be within arms reach of you; it doesn’t matter how strong of a swimmer they are.
Always supervise when your children are around or near water, again it only takes a matter of seconds.
Swim lessons can be a Lifesaving Investment.
I firmly believe that every child should learn how to swim, at one point or another; every child is going to be around water. Taking swim lessons will not make them drown-proof, but it will get your children comfortable in the water.
Check-in, your area for local aquatic centers and YMCA’s, are pretty reasonable and start as young as six months old. Private swim lessons can be efficient, as well.
Stay Off Your Phone
Jumping on your phone, to check your Facebook news feed while your kids are splashing away is tempting, but it only takes a quick incident for your child to split underwater and drown.
Parents on their phones are one of the biggest complaints from lifeguards. Parents tell their kids to stay on the shallow end and jump right on their phones. Kids can split underwater and drown in seconds.
However, it would be best if you had your phone fully charged and nearby in the case of an emergency. It happens that once in a while, you need to answer an email or make a call. If you have to answer that email, make sure a responsible adult is supervising your children.
Know what to do in an Emergency
Knowing the basic CPR and acting immediately can be lifesaving in a critical time, and not depending on emergency respondents to arrive. If you speculate that your child has been submerged and is having trouble, do not ever hesitate to call your pediatrician or take them right to the ER!
One thing to keep in mind that drowning does happen during non-swim times, so it’s essential to talk about it no matter what age of your children, please teach them water safety and pool safety rules.
Being prepared and educated around water is vital. Having a set of ground rules and being made can reduce any chances of injury or even potential drowning at the pool. So always keep water safety in mind and have fun this summer!