Children tend to automatically be drawn to swimming pools. Unfortunately, drowning is one of the top five causes of death in children, especially toddlers. Research has shown that 70% of the drownings among children under the age of 4 weren’t supposed to be in or at the pool and about 46% of these children were last seen inside their home. Children can slip away from the watchful eyes of their parents in a matter of seconds and with the weather getting warmer, the pool will be tempting before you know it. For this reason, it’s important to understand how to prevent kids from drowning in swimming pools by learning to make pools safe for toddlers and children. Here are a few tips for swimming pool safety.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips for Kids
When it comes to swimming pool safety tips for kids, one of the most important things you can do to help kids safe and prevent them from drowning in swimming pools is to have a fence around the pool. Fences have been shown to be the most effective and proven thing when it comes to how to prevent kids from drowning in swimming pools. The recommendation for pool fencing is to have the fence at least 4 feet high and completely surrounding the pool. The fence should be climb-proof, for instance, a chain-link fence will give the child access to hand and footholds, which will allow them to climb over it, so the fence, should be made with solid materials. The latch should be self-closing and latching and out of the reach of children so that the gate only opens out and away from the pool. Keep the gate locked when an adult isn’t at the pool.
Pool, Gate, and Door Alarms
Although door alarms may not always come to mind when considering swimming pool safety tips for kids; however, a door alarm can alert parents should their toddler attempt to open the door and slip into the pool area. A pool alarm is designed to detect waves on the surface of the water and will sound off to attract your attention should someone fall into the pool. Gate alarms will sound off should the gate be opened. It’s important to make sure that all alarms used work properly and have fresh batteries.
If a pool cover is used, make sure it is secure and that it covers the entire pool to prevent children from slipping under it. There shouldn’t be any standing water collecting on top of the cover; children can drown in less than 2-inches of water and too much water may weigh the cover down, forcing openings. A power-operated pool cover is generally the easiest and safest to use.
Designated Water Watcher’s
Sadly, even when the family is gathered around the pool, a child drowning can occur quickly and possibly even without an adult that’s close by knowing what is happening. Drowning is often silent, which means that the child may not be able to scream or even splash loudly, so a child drowning can go unnoticed, even with several adults around. When looking for how to make pools safe for toddlers, one of the easiest ways to prevent kids from drowning in a swimming pool is by assigning a water watcher. The water watcher’s job is to watch all the kids swimming or playing near the water. They shouldn’t be on their phone, participating in any other activities, and not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s also recommended that the water watchers switch off with other adults on a regular time frame. Remember to always have your toddler/children’s safety in mind when there is water around; whether it’s at home, on vacation, or at a friend or relative’s house. Provide or arrange for swimming lessons as soon as your child is ready, in many situations, children can begin swimming lessons as early as age 1. Other safety precautions to consider may include having life jackets available when around water, especially if on a large body of water, such as a lake, river, or ocean. Keep in mind that accidents do happen, so it’s important to learn CPR, what to do in the case of drowning and how to get emergency help. Be sure there is water safety equipment such as life preservers near all bodies of water.