A pool promises tons of fun for the whole family, but it also comes with the huge responsibility of keeping your kids — along with visiting kids — safe around the water. Read on to learn pool safety tips that can help prevent children from getting hurt in and around the pool.
1. Talk to Your Kids About Water Safety
Young kids who spend a lot of time around pools should understand that water can be very dangerous, and they should never play around a pool without adult supervision. Keep in mind that almost 70% of all child drownings happen when kids aren’t actually swimming and no adults are around.
As scary as it may be to talk about the possibility of drowning with your kids, it’s something you must continually reinforce. When you repeatedly share the importance of water safety with your children, they’ll come to understand how important it is to always be cautious around the pool.
2. Make Swimming Lessons a Priority
If you own a pool, you must teach your children how to swim or enroll them in professional swimming lessons. This is nonnegotiable. Kids can start learning how to keep themselves afloat in the water at a very young age — as early as one to two years old. From there, they’re usually ready for full-blown swimming lessons around age four.
3. Keep Young Swimmers Within Arm’s Reach
If children want to play in the pool but aren’t yet strong swimmers, make sure they stay within arm’s reach of an adult at all times. More experienced young swimmers should never be allowed to play in the pool unattended. Although better swimmers may not need to stay within arm’s reach, they should have a buddy in the pool and an adult supervising playtime.
4. Designate an Adult “Pool Watcher”
When you have get-togethers at your pool, don’t assume every adult who’s outdoors is actively keeping an eye on the kids who are swimming. Often, when there’s an assumption that everyone is watching, that really means no one is diligently watching — a major safety hazard for young swimmers.
That’s why many swimming safety organizations recommend designating one adult as the official “pool watcher” for a specified time period. Add other adults to the rotation, and when each person’s watch time is up, they can pass the duty on to the next designated adult.
Be sure that all pool watchers know how to recognize when a child is in distress in the water. Often, kids don’t cry out for help when they’re in trouble, so make sure everyone knows to keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Hands waving out to the sides or flailing up in the air
- Kids who appear to be bobbing up and down in the water
- A swim stroke that appears to be weak
- Hair in the eyes and a head that’s tilted back in the water
- A child’s mouth at water level with their body vertical in the water
- Kids making ladder-climbing motions in the water
5. Stay Off Your Cell Phone While Enjoying Pool Time
When your kids are splashing around in the shallow end, it can be tempting to pull out your cell phone and fiddle around on it. Don’t do that. It only takes a moment for a child to slip beneath the surface of the water, and the best way to prevent that from happening is to remain constantly vigilant.
While you should stay off your phone while your children are swimming, do keep your cell phone fully charged and within reach while you watch your kids. In case of an emergency, you’ll want immediate access to your phone so you can quickly dial 911.
6. Take Advantage of Professional Pool Services
When the water in your pool is kept clean and clear, it’s far easier to see what’s going on under the surface. What’s more, maintaining properly balanced water is crucial for reducing the risk of waterborne illnesses, skin and eye irritation, and other potential health issues that may result from swimming in a dirty pool.
But not every family has the time or the desire to handle their own pool maintenance. Are you one of those families? If so, hiring a pool maintenance company to keep your pool in tip-top shape is definitely in your best interest.
Aside from routine chemical balancing and cleaning, a pool maintenance pro will also assess the health of various pool components to make sure they’re working properly. Having an expert set of eyes on your pool equipment is one of the most effective ways to identify and address small safety issues as they arise.
7. Learn Basic CPR
If you’re supervising kids in the pool, you should know basic CPR. After all, would you want a lifeguard who didn’t know CPR to supervise your kids in a public pool? Being able to immediately spring into action in the event of an emergency can be the difference between life and death, so if you don’t already know CPR, register for a class as soon as you can.
8. Don’t Rely on Pool Toys as Floatation Support Devices
Pool noodles, water wings, and other floaties are toys. They’re not floatation devices and shouldn’t be used as such. If children require additional floatation support in the water, you should only use Coast Guard–approved floatation devices.
9. Keep Your Pool Inaccessible to Children
No matter how much you reinforce pool safety and swimming lessons, it’s important to also have a secure pool fence to keep your children from playing near the water when you’re not watching. Even if you don’t have children, a pool fence is a good idea in case you have visitors with small children. Door alarms for pool fence gates are available to further help you ensure children stay away from the pool when you aren’t looking. And you should get your pool fence and gate regularly inspected and maintained to ensure that your fence is doing its job as well as possible.
When it comes time to renovate or remodel your pool or get your pool equipment serviced, reach out to the team at Select Pool Services. We provide a variety of services in North Dallas that will help keep your pool swimmable for you and your children.