School is out and hot summer days are upon us. What better way to cool off from the summer heat than a dip in the pool?
My children love to swim and will spend many hours this summer playing at the community pool or in backyard pools with friends. Swimming is one of our favorite things about summertime!
Although pools are tons of fun, water can also be dangerous. According to www.safekids.org, drowning is one of the leading causes of accident-related death for children. Around 800 children drown in the U.S. each year, most during the summer months. As scary as these facts are, by following a few simple safety tips, swimming can be both safe and fun for your family.
1. Watch them swim. As tempting as it is to relax with a book or simply close your eyes and sunbathe, when at the pool, give your children your undivided attention. Younger children should be within an arm’s reach and older children within your sight. Even with a lifeguard on duty, it’s best to stay close and watchful of your children at the pool. Many parents think they will hear signs of drowning such as splashing, but the reality is that drowning is quick and silent. Never leave a child unattended around water, even for a moment.
2. Teach them to swim. Enroll your kids in swim lessons or take the time to teach them yourself. Kids need to know water survival skills such as:
- Jumping into water over their heads and returning to the surface
- Treading water
- Holding their breath under water
- Swimming from one side of the pool to the other
- Exiting the pool without a ladder
Don’t rely on floats, water wings or noodles that give kids a false sense of safety in the water. Although these are fun toys, be sure your child spends time in the water learning to swim and float without these aids.
3. Teach children never to play around pool drains.
4. Empty inflatable pools after use and store them upside down.
5. Learn CPR. It could save a life!