Looking to keep your kids safe at the pool this summer? Who isn’t? Especially when you’re chasing around two (or more) little ones at the pool, it can be really stressful. Use these swimming pool safety tips to help get your family ready for summer.
1. Adult supervision at the pool at all times is a must. Do not put older kids in charge of watching your little ones because they get too distracted.
2. Do a clear hand off of responsibility if you have to leave your kids at the pool. Look that adult right in the eye and make it clear who they should be watching while you are gone. Remind them of any specific safety rules or “heads up” for your children. If your kids need to wear their Puddle Jumpers at all times, or one kid in particular likes to jump into the deep end, give them the heads up.
2. Stay within arms length at all times, AKA “active supervision”. Remember that drowning is silent and calm and can happen in an instant. Stepping away with your back turned for more than a few seconds can become a life or death situation with little ones at the pool.
3. Start swimming lessons early and consider a self-rescue specific course. The sooner your kids learn to swim, the better.
4. Make sure all adults know where lifesaving equipment is and how to use it. Check the equipment every time you visit the pool to make sure everything’s in good working condition and is easy to grab.
5. Reapply sunscreen more often than you think you need it. Sunscreen bottles state that they are good for up to 80 minutes in water, so reapply every 60 minutes. Make sure to dry off the child completely, put the sunscreen on, and let it dry before the kids go back in the water. Tons of parents just reapply quickly and let them jump right back in and it just washes off because it didn’t soak in.
6. Review rules and safe behaviors with your children, such as “no diving,” “stay away from drain covers,” “swim with a buddy”, and “walk please.”
7. Safeguard your pool when not in use. Pools need to be completely fenced-in with a lock on the gate. Be sure there are no gaps between the ground and the fence where little ones can slip through unnoticed. Consider installing an underwater motion alarm and a pool immersion detector to alert you if a child falls into the pool. Pool covers and pool nets are also very helpful safeguards.
8. Keep a portable land line or a mobile phone out at the pool with you. In case of emergency you don’t have time to run into the house to get your phone to call 911.
9. Take a CPR class to familiarize yourself with lifesaving techniques. We recommend this for all caregivers! Learn CPR and first aid for treating infants through adults. Classes are offered on a regular basis at most hospitals.d
10. Get a pool cover that is anchored to the outside of the pool rather than one that just lays on top to avoid children walking out onto a cover and becoming trapped as it sinks.