Swimming Safety Tips for Children and Pets  

by Pool Builders on 03-17-2014 in Articles

One of the most common accidents in children is drowning or near drowning which results to a number of deaths and serious injuries. Even though a child knows how to swim, parents should not be fooled into thinking that that is enough to ensure safety. Actually, a lot of accidents still happen even if the child knows how to swim, be it in a swimming pool or body of water. This happens without any warning at any given time! So it's very important for parents to follow basic safety tips, especially if such swimming areas are located in the parameters of their home.

First and foremost, children shouldn't be allowed to swim without any supervision. Remember that certain incidences as cramps are very easy to develop when a person is underwater, and various mishaps like hitting the head when diving are quite common. Letting a trustworthy adult hang around is very important, since they'll be able to help when such a situation arises. Additionally, they can caution children not to show off or playing rough, and at the same time give a good explanation about the dangers of running and diving recklessly.

Second, don't let children who have no prior knowledge of swimming in or around the pool premises. In order to prevent or fully minimize swimming pool-related mishaps, children above four years of age should attend a swimming class from certified instructors. At the least, children should know the basics of flotation and life-saving techniques in case of unprecedented events. If the child is younger than four, they should always be accompanied by their parents at all times.

Third, make sure that the pool premises are enclosed by lockable high fences if there are children around. The pool shouldn't be open and accessible at all times, since more often than not, children may trip inside. Keep the children away from the poolside unless supervised. The fences should be at least six feet in height in all sides. Lawn furnishings, trees and other tall shrubs should be far enough from the pool, to make sure that the children won't be able to use them to boost themselves over the fence.

Fourth, even with small portable pools or water bodies like buckets, fountains or barrels, children should never be left alone. Drowning can still occur even in these meager amounts of water, and it is better to be safe than sorry. This applies especially to toddlers, who can get fully immersed even with a bucket of water.

Fifth, when using the backyard swimming pool, the cover should be completely lifted over. This should be strictly observed€"partially opening the pool could cause mishaps to happen. While doing that, the child should never be allowed to walk over the pool cover, or they risk the chance of falling over to the deeper parts of the water.

Sixth, don't let children stay in spas or hot tubs. In the case of younger children, it should be avoided completely, since they are more prone to burns. These tubs could also induce dizziness, causing them to lose consciousness which could very well result to drowning if unsupervised.

Seventh, always make sure to keep a life saving flotation device near the pool. Children are often either too lazy or excited and wouldn't hesitate jumping into the swimming pool without flotation devices if they don't find it immediately. Also, parents should be able to perform the basics of CPR techniques in the event that an accident occurs.

Eighth, the pool itself should be checked for safety. Make sure that the pool adheres to the local ordinances and codes for safety requirements. Non-slip materials should be employed on the pool deck, diving boards and ladders. The pool ladder should have a width of at least three, having handrails on both sides that are thin enough for children to hold on to. Both ends of the pool should also have a ladder. Licensed and professional pool contractors should be consulted in order to ascertain that the depth of the pool is enough to have diving boards or slides installed. They can also help in providing marks for water depths and installing safety float lines on the deep part of the slope.

Tips for Pets

Pets are also part of the family, and there are also some things to remember when they're around the pool. First, train or familiarize the pet with the location of the pool steps, so if ever it slips over, it can get out fast. This holds true even if they're experienced swimmers, since they tend to panic when they accidentally fall in the pool. Finally, petite pets shouldn't be allowed in the pool.

According to the report made by the National Safety council, approximately 600 children and adults drown in swimming pools in a yearly basis, about 60% of which in home pools. So, with the practice of these various basic pool tips and with the use of common sense, swimming will be a fun activity that could stimulate growth in children. At the same time, the pool will always be a safe and pleasurable haven not only for children but also for adults.

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