Kids Health

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Pool Safety – 5 Hints To Keep The Kids Safe

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“Jimmy, no running at the pool. You know the rules.”

The family swimming pool – it is a source of tremendous enjoyment, and everyone wants accident-free pool fun. But kids will be kids, and prone to take risks. Their enthusiasm sometimes overrides their sense of caution. What helpful hints can keep kids safe in the pool?

1) Have an adult present and watching. This hint seems obvious! As suggested by the Swimmingpool.com website, especially when children are swimming, an adult should be present. If you own your own pool or use an unsupervised public pool you don’t want to risk leaving your kids even for a few seconds. Yes, the pool is a place of fun, but there is a responsibility which goes along with pool ownership – be present and watchful when kids are using the pool. Have kids use the buddy system as a backup – assign partners to watch out for each other.

2) No running around the pool. With the enthusiasm of children, caution can get thrown to the wind as they play their games around the pool. Kids want to cannonball off the diving board or from the side of the pool. Kids want to run back to the diving board to top their buddy who just made a big splash. If the “no running rule” is strictly enforced, everyone has a more safe swimming experience. It not, a child may well slip and bang an elbow or cut a knee, or worse. If necessary, assign consequences – a time out or loss of pool privileges for not obeying the rule. Sitting in the shade while their buddies frolic in the water can really work.

3) Always have a phone available. Suggested by Poolsafely.gov, this tip will assure that in the case of an accident or emergency, help can be called for promptly. An indoor home phone is acceptable, but a portable mobile phone is best. If the phone is readily at hand, it allows parents to relax and enjoy watching their children play.

4) Know and practice water safety skills. Adults in charge at the pool must be able to swim themselves. Learning CPR (resuscitation techniques) for adults and children is also a useful skill for a pool owner to have. Maintain those skills by taking classes and staying up-to-date on proper techniques.  The pool owners would be well advised to also understand the basics of live-saving, to assist in a possible emergency. Time may be critical, and knowing what to do until the emergency services arrive could make all the difference.

5) Have the proper equipment for the pool. Poolsafely.gov recommends that a fence is mandatory – a four foot or taller fence, to assure there is no unauthorized or unattended use of the pool. Alarms on the pool and gates can alert when a child goes near the water. Properly store pool chemicals out of the reach of children, and only allow trained adults to administer those chemicals.

Becky Flanigan is a freelance writer for In The Swim.  She has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely golden retrievers.  She spends hours at her family swimming pool, watching the kids and dogs splash and play.  She is also a runner, and is diligently training for her first half marathon.

Categories: Safety

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