School is out and summer is here! Summertime means pool time for my kids and me. When it’s too hot to do anything else, we head to the community pool and spend the afternoon playing in the water.
Although pools are tons of fun, water can also be dangerous. According to the National Safety Council (www.nsc.org), “on average about ten people die from drowning every day in the United States.” The website also states, “drownings continue to be the second leading cause of preventable death through age 15.” These facts are scary and are an important reminder to keep water safety foremost in mind when enjoying time at the pool this summer.
I worked as a lifeguard and pool manager for several years as a teenager and young adult. All these years later, I am still super vigilant about watching my children at the pool. Seeing parents of young children lay back in their lounge chairs and take a nap while their kids swim is a major pet peeve of mine. Even with a lifeguard on duty, it’s best to stay close and watchful of your children at the pool.
My top pool safety tip would be this: Give your children your undivided attention. Younger children should be within an arm’s reach and older children within your sight. Drowning is quick and silent. Never leave a child unattended around water, even for a moment.
It is also very important to teach your kids to swim. Enroll your kids in swim lessons or teach them basic water survival skills yourself. Kids should be able to:
- Jump into water over their head and return to the surface
- Tread water for one minute
- Hold their breath under water
- Swim from one side of the pool to the other
- Exit the pool without a ladder
You should also teach your children never to play around pool drains.
Swimming is lots of fun and is a great way to stay cool during the hot summer months. By staying vigilant, teaching your children to swim, and following basic pool safety rules, swimming this summer can be both safe and fun.