Kids need constant supervision around water. Parents must take the initiative in protecting their children from any kind of body of water whether in the bathtub or the pool. In this article, we’ll fill you in with all the information you’ll need to keep your precious little ones safe while playing in the water.
Summer is just around the corner! The opportunity to cool yourself in the water comes with the summer heat. The time has once again come to begin swimming instruction.
You should go over water safety with your kids even if they’ve had lessons in the past and were excellent swimmers last year.
Unintentional drowning kills 10 people a day in the United States and is the second greatest cause of death among children aged 1-14, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Make sure to go over a few rules with your children, whether you’re at the pool or the beach, no matter how well you think they can swim. Reminding yourself of the rules of the water is as important as reminding your children to look both ways before crossing the street.
Water safety is particularly important when your kids are in public pools because it can be hard to spot them.
Is It Necessary to Take Swimming Lessons?
According to the CDC, a child’s risk of drowning lowers by 88% between the ages of one and four when they have taken swimming lessons. It is not uncommon for toddlers to take months or even years to master basic survival skills like rolling over on their backs in the water.
It requires a lot of patience and tears to learn these survival skills. Lessons in swimming can be helpful if you have a pool at home, but if you don’t, you can wait until your child is older to start. A puddle jumper or life jacket of the correct size will keep your child safe in the water.
Keeping a close eye on everything
Swimming lessons can give parents and children a false sense of security. It is a myth that a child will require less monitoring after taking classes.
When children are in the water, they will always need to be monitored because of the ever-changing circumstances that can occur. Even if you believe you have your children under control, they can drown in the blink of an eye. Parents are prone to being preoccupied.
An infant or young child’s life might be lost in an instant if they become submerged in water for any length of time. If you must leave the pool, remove your children from the water first. For even a second, don’t presume they’ll be secured.
For the sake of their safety, parents should remain within arm’s length of their children at all times. Even with only a few inches of water, small backyard pools pose a danger to young children.
A child’s apprehension of water frequently reflects their parents’ own apprehension. A child’s anxiety can be exacerbated if their parents are overly careful.
Even though parents should be warned of the dangers, there are no advantages in overreacting to the situation. Despite their initial reluctance to embrace the water, most children eventually come to appreciate its many benefits.
Take advantage of this opportunity if your youngster has never taken swimming lessons or needs to brush up on the basics. It’s not uncommon for children to require multiple sets of lessons.
Children’s abilities and readiness might vary widely; some may lose the ability to swim after long absences from the water. The value of a child’s existence considerably outweighs the cost of providing for it.
Having fences on your pool are serious business.
Your child can enjoy the water, but install a fence and keep rescue equipment ready nearby. Swimming in a pool is a considerably more unappealing sight than a four-sided fence that divides it from the home and backyard. Although most experts recommend it, the United States does not mandate four-sided pool fencing.
For new and rebuilt pools in California, where one of the nation’s toughest pool-safety laws entered into effect in 2018, only two of seven mandated drowning-prevention safety elements must be installed—but the sole alternative is a four-sided fence.
Since the introduction of four-sided, non-climbable pool fencing in Australia, the number of deaths from swimming pool drownings has fallen by half. That is to say, regardless of whether or not you have a pool, you should get a four-sided isolation fence.
Find out if there is water on the property of any potential playmates and if the gate is self-latching when you meet the parents of these people. Isolation barrier with four sides? Then don’t host playdates there.
Each of the pool’s four corners should be surrounded by a 4-foot-high fence. An opening or protrusion in the fence that a young child could utilize to get over, under, or through should be avoided at all costs.
Your pool gate should be self-closing, and it should open outward, not within. Only four inches above the ground is a safe height for a fence, and latches should be out of reach of children. Never leave the gate to the pool area open.
Protect yourself and your kids’ life by putting up levels of defense.
Your children’s playroom appears to have been damaged by a cyclone? There’s nothing to worry about. It’s imperative that you take extreme care of your pool, however.
With clear and clean water, you can better observe what’s going on beneath it and reduce the danger of water-borne sickness. All toys and floats, which may be attractive to curious children, should be collected and stowed after swimming.
Keep a rescue ring, flotation device, and shepherd’s crook pole in the same place at all times to avoid dangerous puddling on your pool cover. Also, make sure your pump is working properly to avoid dangerous puddling.
Children move quickly, are inquisitive, and nimble. Swimming pool alarms, motorized pool covers, and dead-bolt locks on back doors are just some of the solutions that can protect your family in the event of a tragedy.
Coast Guard-approved flotation equipment is also a smart option. Every time the gate or door opens, you should hear a buzzing noise.
A sonar device that sounds an alert when something enters the water is ideal, but if that’s not feasible, a floating alarm that sounds when the water is disturbed is a good alternative.
When not in use, try to keep the pool covered.
Even if it’s swimming season, in order to keep your pool safe, keep your pool covered with a motorized rigid safety cover anytime it’s not in use. When not in use, remove ladders and stairs from an above-ground pool. Make sure the cover covers the full surface of the pool. There is the risk that a child could go under it and get stuck.
Keep toys out of the pool area, and don’t utilize chemical dispensers disguised as toys.
Suction from drains in pools and spas can ensnare a swimmer, so be cautious.
Children can be pulled down in a swimming pool or hot tub and become caught in drains, leading to their death. Keep an eye out for the drains at your neighborhood swimming pool at all times. Ask your pool or spa operator if it drains if you see a broken or missing drain cover.
To avoid swimmers becoming caught in your swimming pool’s drains, ask your pool service provider to install anti-entrapment drain covers or systems.
At least two drains for each pump are necessary to decrease the high suction if one drain is blocked. Safety vacuum-release systems should be installed in all single-drain pools, hot tubs, whirlpools, and spas. If a drain becomes clogged, the suction will be released immediately, protecting the user.
Other good advice: Make sure your child doesn’t swim or play near drains and keep an eye on her. Put a bathing cap or a hair tie on her and make sure her swimwear is fitted and there are no loose knots.
These are just some of the sound advice how you can keep your pool safe.
Parental Advice for Keeping Your Children Safe in the Bathroom
Many families have a nightly ritual of bathing their children, but it’s important always to be vigilant. To ensure everyone’s safety during bath time, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. Ensure you have everything you need for a relaxing bath before turning on the water.
Make sure you have a clean diaper, comfy pajamas, a towel, soap, shampoo, and fun bath toys before you leave the house. Never abandon a young child in the tub while you go get something you forgot. To avoid leaving your child in the bathroom while you answer the phone or the door, simply wrap them in a towel and take him or her with you. Never leave an infant or toddler unattended in a bathtub, as every year, there are tragic drowning deaths of children in Texas.
When your child is learning to crawl, toddle, and walk, make sure the bathroom door is closed, and the lid is down. If you have a toddler who is always getting into things, installing a safety lock on the toilet can give you peace of mind. To some, the fact that toddlers in Texas drown in things like buckets and toilets is counterintuitive.
Extra Tips for Protecting Your Family from Dangerous Waters in Your Yard
Never leave a child unattended near a backyard pond or pool, not even a kiddie pool. Older children should never be entrusted with the responsibility of watching younger ones around water.
Children need constant, attentive supervision from an adult when they are near or in swimming pools. The person designated as the “water watcher” must always remain vigilant. You should not read or check your phone when supervising children at the pool. Any adult who is responsible for children near water should know how to swim and be able to rescue the kids if something goes wrong.
Last but not least, when playtime is over, be sure to empty kiddie pools and water toys like sensory tables and then put them away in an area where they won’t collect rainwater.
Additional Backyard Swimming Pool Safety Tips
Having a pool, spa, or hot tub in your backyard can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to create a safety plan to ensure the well-being of your family and any guests. It’s important to remember that large inflatable pools can be just as hazardous as permanent installations. These pools either need to be drained after each use or fenced off with a lock.
Pool Safety Rule No. 1: Secure the pool.
First and foremost any pool safety plan should be a strategy for preventing curious kids and pets from getting in. Every year in Texas, children drown in backyard pools after slipping through unlocked doors or pet doors. The first line of defense against drownings is a secure enclosure with sturdy fencing, gates, and doors.
- Always install a fence with a minimum height of 4 feet around any hot tub, spa, or pool.
- The gate, which opens outward from the fence, should close and latch automatically. Those latches need to be high enough that kids can’t reach them.
- Locking the back and pet doors will keep kids from wandering into the pool or hot tub area.
- Cover doorknobs with childproofing devices and secure locks or bolt latches higher up on exterior doors where children cannot reach them.
- A child or pet that has fallen into the pool can be located using a pool alarm that listens for waves on the water’s surface.
- For added security, lock the gate that leads to your backyard.
Pool Safety Rule No. 2: Make a Dos and Don’ts Checklist
Any pool safety plan should establish ground rules for when and by whom family members can use the pool or hot tub. Be sure that everyone knows and abides by your regulations. Avoid having to deal with the consequences if young children break the rules by making sure they can’t get to the pool unsupervised. You should consider incorporating the following water safety guidelines into your pool safety plan:
- Always have an adult present to supervise children while they are in the water.
- Before allowing any child to enter the pool, please get permission from their parents.
- Instruct kids to stay away from the pool’s drains.
- Always keep pool chemicals out of the reach of children.
- The vicinity of a swimming pool or hot tub should always be supervised with children present.
- Toys should always be in and near a pool.
- Do not let anyone swim who is feeling nauseous or has diarrhea.
Pool Safety Rule No. 3: Pool Drains Are a Serious Hazard, So Be Careful!
It is important to teach children to stay away from pool drains because they use powerful suction to filter the water in the pool. In extremely unusual circumstances, children have been trapped by the drain’s force and drowned. All pools must now have safety drain covers to reduce the number of drowning incidents, but it is still important to teach children to stay away from them.
Pool Safety Rule No. 4: Pool Chemical Security
Pool and hot tub disinfectants, such as chlorine, are powerful chemicals designed to eliminate all traces of bacteria and other microorganisms. About 4,500 people in the United States go to hospitals every year after being injured by pool chemicals. Children and teenagers make up more than a third of those hurt. Keep pool chemicals in a secure location, out of the reach of children, as part of your pool’s safety plan. Always use gloves when working with pool chemicals, and always wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Pool Safety Rule No. 5: Hot Tub and Spa Safety
Spas and hot tubs are popular places for adults to unwind, but they pose serious risks to children due to the depth and temperature of the water. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises against the use of hot tubs by anyone younger than 5.
Experts recommend waiting until your child is at least three feet tall before letting him use a hot tub so that his head is completely above water when he is standing on the bottom. Still, it’s best to limit kids’ time in hot tubs to a minimum. Heat exhaustion strikes kids harder and faster than grownups. Also:
- Having an adult present in the hot tub is a must when children are present.
- When using the hot tub, make sure the cover is completely removed before getting in.
- Hot tubs should be kept covered and locked when not in use, especially around children.
Having fun as a family in the water is possible, but safety is of the utmost importance. Keep in mind that drowning deaths are usually unnoticed. Keep an eye out for kids at all times when they’re near water.
What It Looks Like to Drown
Most children who are in danger of drowning don’t scream and splash like you see on television. Children in danger of drowning may appear to be swimming but aren’t making any progress.
His mouth is usually close to the water’s surface, with his arms out in front or to the side and his legs dangling below the surface of the water. Even if they’re in a panic, drowning children can appear calm.
As a result, even when lifeguards are on duty, parents should keep a constant eye on their children.
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