Pool Safety – What You Must Know
Everyone loves going to the pool in the summer with the kids or simply relaxing in a hot tub or spa. But most people have no idea that each and every year in the United States, more than 200 children lose their lives by drowning in pools and spas.
Every one of these drowning deaths is a needless loss of life and could have been prevented. Here is the information you need to keep your children and the children in your care safe:
Teach Your Child To Swim
First of all, make sure all of the children in your household know how to swim. Get them enrolled in swim programs appropriate to their ages. You can locate programs in your area by calling the American Red Cross. These programs should also include teaching your children basic safety skills and appropriate behavior while in and around the water, how to safely enter and exit the pool, and how to swim.
Supervision Is Key!
Always closely supervise your children when they are in or around the water. This means actively monitoring their behavior and observing them at all times. Young children should be kept within the arm’s length of a responsible adult. A child can get in trouble and drown or suffer near-drowning much quicker than you realize. Very young children and those who do not swim well should wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Rules, Rules, Rules
While some parents worry about too many rules today, rules around the pool need to be strictly enforced. You need to have clear rules when your children are at the pool and implement them. No running, no diving, and never swimming alone but swimming with a buddy are good examples. Also, ensure your children know not to go near drain covers as they could be trapped underwater by suction.
Create A Barrier To Entry
Make sure your pool is not accessible to children when unsupervised. Surround the pool with a fence at least 4 feet high and has a gate that closes by itself and is self-latching. Consider installing a pool alarm that will sound when someone enters the water. Place a safety cover over your pool and spa when not in use. Several different safety covers will either allow a child to get out of the pool area or support a child for some time- preventing them from going in the water.
CPR and Water Safety Courses
Enroll all adults and teens in the household in CPR and water safety courses given by your local Red Cross. Rehearse with them what to do should a pool emergency occur.
Following the advice given in these tips can significantly reduce the chance of accidental drowning. They are easy to implement and can make time at the pool with your children enjoyable and safe.
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