Memorial Day weekend is almost here, which means many families will be making plans to spend time at the neighborhood pool. While most parents understand the dangers inherent in aquatic recreation, many aren’t quite as clear on the best way to protect their families.
Most children will overestimate their swimming abilities, which may put them in dangerous situations. Pool safety begins with parents, so follow a few pool safety tips to reduce your family’s risk.
Talk With Your Children
Before you pack the swim bags, chat with your kids about their abilities and limitations and the dangers involved in pool play.
Floaties Are Toys
Inflatable rings, water wings and pool noodles offer buoyancy, but they’re not reliable enough to guarantee to keep your child floating.
Don’t Rely on Lifeguards
Lifeguards should be your last line of defense against drowning. Pools will be crowded, making identifying distressed swimmers difficult even for seasoned lifeguards.
Stay within Reach
When kids are in water above their heads, stay close by, even when they’re strong swimmers. It only takes a moment of struggle to turn into full-blown distress that can lead to a near-drowning incident.
Mind the Crowds
On holiday weekends and especially hot days, pools will be crowded, increasing the likelihood of trouble. Swimmers may be jostled or pushed underneath other kids’ floatation devices in the most crowded pools.
Teach Children To Speak Up
Many adults don’t have the swimming skills to pull off a water rescue, so beginning swimmers should never attempt it. Teach children to yell for the attention of an adult if they see an incident rather than attempting rescue themselves.
Don’t risk debilitating spinal injuries: Head-first dives should never be attempted in water less than 10 feet deep.
Even when you’re playing it safe, a trip to the pool can be a great time for the whole family. Prepare beforehand to reduce your family’s risk of a near-drowning incident.