With summer comes the chance to have a lot of fun in the water. If you're going to be around a swimming pool, especially with young children, make sure you know how to stay safe. Here's how to stay safe around a swimming pool:
- Learn how to swim. By far the best thing you can do to help yourself and your children stay safe near water is to learn how to swim. Although drowning is possible even for people who know how to swim, swimming can drastically reduce the risks you take by allowing children near the water. Many public pools offer swimming lessons for both children and adults.
- Protect the pool. If the pool is owned by you, protect it by building a fence around it. Do not let anyone into the pool area to swim alone. Also make sure that the surfaces near the pool are slip resistant. Clearly mark the depth of the pool so that children do not get in over their heads or attempt to dive into shallow water.
- Teach kids water safety. If you have children, make sure they know how to behave in a safe manner near the water. This means no horseplaying in the pool, and no diving off the edge. If your child cannot swim, teach him or her to avoid the pool. Other common-sense teachings include never swimming alone or without supervision.
- Watch young children carefully. Remain alert to make sure that young children do not enter the water if they cannot swim. Properly supervise even children that know how to swim so that no accidents happen. Drowning is the second most common cause of death from injuries for children under 14, and it can happen much faster than you would assume, sometimes in less than 2 minutes. Even if the children are not in the pool, it may be possible for them to wander into the pool, or slip and fall in. Do not let anyone dive off the side of the pool; only diving boards should be used for diving.
- Use flotation devices. Flotation devices are a good idea whether those in the pool know how to swim or not. At the minimum, those who cannot swim must wear life jackets in the pool. Other choices range from arm bands or rings to air mattresses for lounging in the middle of the pool. When young children get tired swimming, they can cling to floating objects for support. If a small child falls into the pool, they may be able to use a flotation device for assistance. Do not count on them to save a life, but it can't hurt to add a few floating toys to your pool.
Playing in the water can be a lot of fun, but if you're going to be near a swimming pool, make sure that you pay attention to make sure that everyone stays safe. Even if your children know how to swim, do not leave them unattended.