Splashing around in a swimming pool is a highlight of the summer for many kids and their families. Still, without the proper precautions in place, the pool can be a dangerous place for kids of any age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is a leading cause of death in children ages 1-4. Pool and water safety is necessary to teach children at a young age to prevent accidents.
5 Swimming Safety Tips for Parents
The following swimming safety tips can help you keep the pool a fun and safe spot to enjoy with the family.
1. Start Early with Swimming Lessons
Swimming lessons for kids are available for all ages, including infants! It's never too early to teach children swimming safety. Youth swimming lessons teach all the basics through water safety activities, from learning to tread water to understanding how to do basic strokes to stay afloat. Infant swimming lessons will get babies used to the water and teach them to balance and float themselves in the pool. You might even consider taking swimming lessons for families to learn all together!
2. Teach Important Water Safety for Kids
Beyond teaching kids to swim comes teaching water safety. Water safety incorporates all the important rules of the pool that children should know before they hop in. Here are some of the most important ground rules to cover:
- Swimming is only allowed when an adult is supervising
- Swim with a buddy, never alone
- Walk around the pool (no running)
- Avoid dangerous games and horseplay in the pool
- Stay in the proper depth (no going past the shallow end if you're not a confident swimmer, for example)
3. Go Through CPR and First Aid Training
Any adult supervising kids in the pool should have CPR and First Aid training. This training can literally save a life. You may have training offered through community centers and other programs in your area. You can also check with your local Red Cross, which offers both in-person and online classes. Make sure that your training covers adults, children, and infants, as CPR techniques vary slightly between them.
4. Keep Essentials Handy When Swimming
For complete safety when swimming, you should always keep some essentials on hand. First: a cell phone. Even if the adults providing a watchful eye have CPR and First Aid training, calling for backup is always a good idea in the case of an emergency.
Also, consider bringing along a portable first aid kit. Keep the kit stocked with bandages, scissors, antiseptic cream, gauze, and tape.
5. Secure the Pool and Area
It's necessary to be a responsible pool owner if you have a pool at home. Although it takes more time to secure a pool than leave it open when not in use, those few extra minutes can save lives.
One of the most important items for pool security is a fence and gate that children can't easily climb over or get through. Keep the gate locked whenever the pool isn't in use, and inspect the fence and gate before each pool season to make sure it's in good condition. You might also consider adding alarms to the gate for extra protection. It's also a good idea to keep a pool cover over the pool and make sure all drains have appropriate covers.
Keep the Kids Safe During Swimming Season
Summer is made for fun in the sun and splashing in the water! Still, the water can be a dangerous place for little ones still learning to swim (and even older kids and adults who are more experienced). Keep in mind the swimming safety tips above to make your time at the pool or beach fun, exciting, and safe family bonding time.