Pool Safety: Easy As ABC  

by Pool Builders on 11-08-2007 in Articles

With summer, kids spend plenty of time outside enjoying the fresh air and freedom. One of the most popular summer activities is swimming, either in a lake, at the beach, or in a pool.

Whether your pool is the neighborhood waterhole for the local kids or you have a neighbor who shares their pool with your children, you have to know the ABCs of pool safety. Even if you don't have kids but have a lot of kids in your neighborhood and a pool, being aware of the dangers is a must.

A Is For Adult Supervision
Tragically, year after year, children are drowning victims in pools. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you can leave your kids for a second to answer the phone or to run inside for some more lemonade. Kids are quick, and it takes less than a second for one of them to get into serious trouble.

Kids are also a lot smarter than some parents give them credit for. As soon as your back is turned, children will find a way to get what they want, even if it's not in their best interest. Keep children in sight when they're playing around water. It doesn't matter how deep the water is; very young children have been known to drown in less than a foot of water.

If you're having a party, put the other adults on lifeguard duty, too. The more eyes the better. Make sure everyone knows where the phones are in case they have to call 911. Whether it's a wading pool, above-ground pool, or a luxury in-ground swimming pool, constant adult supervision is a must.

Make sure that younger children have proper floatation devices such as life jackets. Novelty pool toys like inflatable rafts and inner tubes are not proper safety devices. They're for fun alone. Even the floaties you put on a toddler's arms to help the child learn to swim are not enough protection. No matter what kind of floatation device your child is using, it is no substitution for having an adult nearby.

B Is For Barriers
When setting up the pool, create layers of protection. The more layers of security the child has to go through, the more time you have to stop the child from doing something dangerous.

A fence around any pool is a must. The fence should be at least 48 inches high and have a self-closing and self-latching gate. Install locks on all windows, doors and gates leading to or around the pool area. It would help to put an alarm on any doors that lead from the house to the pool area to alert you if you're in another part of the house. It may sound extreme, but drowning isn't a reversible situation.

Check for gaps in the fence that might be large enough for a child to squeeze through and move any chairs, tables or benches far enough away so the children don't use them to climb over the fence. You should also have a clear view from the house to the pool.

C Is For Classes
Take a course on CPR. No matter how careful you are and the numbers of precautions put into place, accidents still happen. Knowing CPR could save the life of your child, or even another adult.

Enrolling your child in a swimming class is another good idea. There are classes for all ages and levels of experience. A professional might be able to teach your child something you might not have thought of.

If you remember your pool safety ABCs, both you and your child will have a much more enjoyable summer, with many more to come!

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