When the weather is warm and the sun is in the sky, the pool may be the first place you want to go. Learning some pool safety tips will help ensure that everyone has a fun time and stays safe in the water.
Pool Safety Tips for Children
Never Leave Children Unattended
Children need to be watched at all times around water in case of an emergency. Pools can be a particular challenge, given their size and filtration methods, so keep small kids to the kiddie pool or shallow end. Even older kids should have supervision.1
Teach Children to Swim
Teaching kids to swim is important, and research has shown formal swimming lessons may result in reduced risk of drowning in young children.2 They should learn how to tread water in case they ever fall into deep water. Swimming doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be safe, but it does help in case they need to safely get back to shore or the pool’s edge.
Don’t Rely on "Floaties"
Rafts, noodles, and inner tubes are great fun, but don’t rely on them to keep shaky swimmers safe. The same is true for younger children using arm floaties. Stay within an arm’s reach of small kids using these flotation devices to ensure you can assist if they lose them or flip over.
Pool Safety Tips for Adults
Learn to Swim
Learning to swim is an essential skill. If you are an adult who doesn’t know how to swim, it’s never too late to take lessons. And if you feel like your skills may be a little rusty, it may be time to brush up.
Have a Lifeguard On Duty
No matter where you swim, you should always designate at least one adult as an on-duty lifeguard. And even when there's already a lifeguard on duty, when you're group includes young children it's always smart to still place at least one adult in your group on water watch. That's because the adult can focus solely on the kids in your group, while a lifeguard's attention may be distracted by others.
Relaxing by the pool with an alcoholic beverage may seem like a fun time for some adults, but it may also increase the risk of drowning.3 Additionally, glass bottles for any type of drink aren't a great idea around pools, since broken glass and bare feet just don’t mix.
Pool Safety Training
CPR is an essential skill for everyone, especially parents and caregivers. The procedures you learn can be used to help others in a number of situations, but they particularly come in handy during pool-related emergencies. Many communities offer discounted or free CPR training, so look on local hospital or medical websites, ask at your fire department, or call the parks and recreation office to find CPR classes near you.
Know the Signs of Drowning
We’ve all seen movies where someone is waving their hands around above the water and crying out for help. So it seems like it would be obvious when a person is drowning. However, the signs of drowning can often go undetected, sometimes until it's too late.4
When a person is partially submerged and seemingly calm, with unmoving or stiff arms, it could be a signal that they're close to drowning. Within 20-60 seconds from this stage, the drowning victim could be completely submerged and unconscious. That’s why it's so important to keep a keen watch whenever children, and even proficient swimmers, are in or around water.
Learn more about the signs of drowning here.
Swimming in any type of water can be lots of fun, but take precautions to ensure you and your family remain safe. (And don't forget the sunscreen!).