Summer is a wonderful season that many families look forward to because it often means vacations and a break from our normal busy schedules, but it can also mean danger if proper water safety precautions aren’t taken. Especially if you have a pool in your own backyard, you need to take extra steps to protect your children. So, here are some of our best pool safety tips you can follow in order to keep your kids safe this summer.
1. Fence Your Pool, and Lock it up.
A pool safety fence is the first step to protecting your children. But it’s not enough just to place the fence; the gate needs to be kept shut at all times and be locked. Don’t leave the key in the lock either, just for convenience, but rather put it inside your house somewhere that only adults can find.
2. Use Another Barrier Too.
Safety pool fences are a necessary first step for kid and toddler swim safety, but they’re not enough in and of themselves. Take it further and invest in a second type of barrier. For example, you can outfit your back door so it becomes self-closing and is only able to be opened by adults (due to the high handle). Another type of barrier is an alarm system that alerts you whenever someone goes outside.
Keep in mind the danger of doggy doors, too, as small children can try to climb through them and go outside unnoticed. If you have a doggy door already, consider closing it off with a board when you’re home to reduce the risk.
3. Actively Supervise near Water.
Whenever you’re bringing your family to the pool to play, you’ll of course, help them through the barriers you have in place so you can all enjoy the pool together. Once out there, make sure at least one adult is designated as the active supervisor of the children. All it takes is someone turning their back for one second, and a child can slip underwater unnoticed. If you’re in the role of active supervisor, keep your phone and other distractions away, and focus solely on your kids and any others in your care.
4. Only Supervise When Sober.
Oftentimes, parents like to enjoy an adult beverage out by the pool - and that’s your prerogative. But if you’re in the role of actively supervising the kids, drinking is never okay. Even if you stick to one drink, your judgment could be impaired enough that you respond more slowly to an urgent situation or fail to notice something important. And when it comes to drowning, every second matters.
5. Remove Any Temptations.
Finally, kids are tempted by bright objects and by their toys. If you have pool toys, keep out of sight where they can’t can’t blow into the pool or keep them outside the pool fence area entirely. Children and toddlers will often try to reach for a toy if they see it near the pool, and this could cause them to fall in.
Follow these summer safety tips and you’ll be in good shape to protect your children around water this summer. And beyond the pool, remember that kids can drown in as a little as two inches of water, so keep your toilet lids closed, drain any buckets you have around and drain the bathtub as soon as you’re done.
Here at Hubbard, we like to encourage our families to Do the Five, (something we borrow from our friends in Australia) which many parents find helpful - and fun. Another easy to remember safety message is “Safer 3”. The Safer 3 message is Safer Kids, Safer Water and Safer Response to: recognize risks, implement a strategy, and maintain those strategies. Take a look at Stop Drowning Now for great kids focused drowning prevention materials.
To learn more or to enroll your child in a swim class, please contact us.