Home Pool Safety
Pool season is officially upon us, and that means we need to be ever watchful of our little ones. This is uniquely true for home pool owners who have to be concerned over not only their own children’s safety, but also the safety of the area neighborhood kids who may attempt access to their pool.
Securing your Pool
Hopefully, if you do own a pool, you have already done your research and ensured you are following your local and state guidelines. Such guidelines include the height and access points of your fence, alarm systems, drain and pool covers, etc. It is critical that you follow these for pools, hot tubs, and any outdoor water or spa structures. Pools in the summer are like magnets for kids, and they may not always ask or knock before jumping in. Their life may depend on you knowing these guidelines and strictly adhering to them in order to make your pool a secured area.
Knowing the Signs of Drowning
If you are a pool owner, educate yourself on the signs of drowning. It is not what you see depicted in movies – a person cannot cry for help and will not be splashing around. They will be silent, perhaps grasping for air, using their arms to push themselves up enough to get their mouths just above the water line. Their eyes will either be closed or unable to focus. If you have any suspicion, always, always err on the side of concern. If they can’t answer you, they’re not ok. If kids playing in the pool stop making noise, then it is highly unlikely that everything is fine – that’s not normal. Parents or supervisors of children playing in the pool are not there to lay out or enjoy a cool drink – they need to be there to carefully and observantly watch the kids to ensure the safety of the little ones just wanting to have some summer fun. It may come down to seconds when saving a child from drowning, so don’t look away!
Practicing Safety in the Pool
For those younger children or those who do not know how to swim, use lifejackets and not the arm floaties. Especially after applying sunscreen, those can pop right off of their arms while in the water. If you are with several kids, have them use a buddy system and never swim alone; however, do not allow another child to be the responsible person. An adult still needs to be the one watching for the signs of drowning or any other dangerous water behavior. Do not allow children to play near drains or run on the slippery areas surrounding a pool. It would be wise to learn CPR and always have a phone near the pool to easily and quickly call 911.
Pools are the epitome of summertime fun, but unfortunately, pools are also fatal for hundreds of children every year. When children are in the water, they must be your one and only focus – there will be plenty of time for adult swims and sunbathing later once they are out of the pool.