Summer Swimming in your backyard pool or your friend’s backyard pool offers lots of fun especially for kids. Water safety for home pools is crucial. Consider that 70% of all drownings are happen when kids are not swimming. Kids wander into neighbors’ yards and fall into an unfenced in pool. Or they hop into a kiddie pool that has not been emptied from previous use or from rainwater.
TIPS FOR WATER SAFETY AROUND HOME POOLS
- Assign a designated Water Watcher. Assuming that there are many adults watching the pool in effect makes no one responsible. Assigning a job as water watcher to a specific adult with a schedule of when the water watcher is relieved and by who is very effective. Water watcher tags are actually available for free online that makes clear who is watching.
- Know how to identify a child in trouble. Kids in trouble are often lying vertically with heads thrown back. It is actually rare to see a child screaming for help, splashing wildly and calling for help. If a child looks like they are in trouble respond immediately. Drowning only takes a few seconds.
- Avoid distractions when you are watching children in the water. Put away your cell phone. In the time it talks to post a photo a child can drown. Ask someone to watch the water for you if you need to make a call
- Consider Swim Lessons. Swim lessons especially for kids between 1- 4 years old can be helpful according to a study done by the American Academy of Pediatricians. The goal is to make children both respectful and comfortable in the water.
- Pool maintenance is an important safety feature. Safety covers should be working properly, electrical components should also be in order. Fence around pool should be intact and the self-latching gate functional.
- Emergency preparedness should include CPR training for children and infants. Be aware that any submersion even if child does not need CPR , needs monitoring for water in lungs. Symptoms would include coughing, rapid breathing and lethargy
- Wading pools and large inflatable pools pose same if not greater drowning danger, as emptying the wading pool water or removing the ladder to the inflatable pool are often forgotten. An inflatable pool should be fenced in.
- Floaties and inner tubes and noodles do not prevent drowning. Coast Guard approved flotation devices are approved for water safety
- Remove temptation for a child to wander into a pool to play with toys left in the water. Always remove all objects form pool at end of swimming
- Unrelated to drowning but related to water safety use sunscreen, and avoid running on slippery poolside surfaces.