With summer just around the corner, many parents and their children will be enjoying time on the water. This includes taking boats out on the lake, floating down lazy rivers, visiting waterparks and going to the beach. However, in many cases, families will not have to leave their own neighborhoods or even their own backyards to enjoy some time by the water. This is because they will be able to take a dip in a neighbor’s swimming pool or their own. While having a swimming pool can be a wonderful convenience, it also poses a drowning risk, especially for small children.
What Should I Teach My Kids About Swimming Pool Safety?
Several safety organizations feature tips for how to keep kids safe in and around swimming pools. Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children, has swimming safety tips available for children of every age group, from babies to teenagers, including:
- Make sure your kids know how to swim – Some parents like to teach their kids to swim themselves. Other parents would rather have their children take swimming lessons from a professional. Either method is fine. What is important is that kids at least know how to tread water and float before they are ever allowed near a swimming pool.
- Limit the areas in the pool where kids can swim – If their children are not yet strong or confident swimmers, parents should make sure that they do not attempt to swim in sections of the pool that are reserved for advanced swimmers. This generally involves limiting younger kids to the shallow end of the pool and not allowing them to use the diving board until they are older.
- Teach your kids to never swim without adult supervision – Even if kids are good swimmers, they should still only be allowed to swim when experienced adult swimmers are either in the water with them or poolside keeping an eye on them. A kid can drown in mere seconds if he or she is pushed underwater while playing with other children or if the child accidentally wanders into the deep end of the pool and panics. Having an adult nearby supervising kids while they swim can lowers the drowning risk and helps prevents other swimming pool accidents.
By educating their kids about proper swimming pool safety, making sure there is a responsible adult supervising their kids while they swim and ensuring that their home swimming pools are safe, parents can go a long way toward making sure their kids stay safe while swimming.
by Wesley Bingham