This time we would like to talk about swimming pool safety for kids. Having your own pool is fantastic, you get to keep fit, have fun and if you have children then it is extra awesome. While older kids will be able to go out and play in the pool on their own the fact of the matter is that pools and toddlers can be a dangerous mix.
Look we do not want to be a downer here, make you feel bad or even worried. What we want to do is try and help educate you on the importance of swimming pool safety for kids. Accidental drowning actually is the second leading cause of death among children aged 1 – 4.
We know it’s a horrible thing to think about, but please have a look down below at our tips for making your pool safe for toddlers.
- You Are Always On Duty!
- Prevention Is Key!
- Sound The Alarm – Swimming Pool Safety For Kids
- Cover Up The Pool
- Drowning Is Not Like It is On TV!
- Be Prepared – Swimming Pool Safety For Kids
- Have Pool Rules
- Have Fun, But Stay Safe
You Are Always On Duty!
If you have made the decision to get a pool on your property or even if you move to a house that already has one. You have to then take the responsibility that comes with having a pool and a toddler. No one else, the responsibility is on you!
This may sound like we are being harsh, but this is a point we cannot stress enough. You need to always make sure that the door is closed and know where you child is at all times when you have a pool.
Also this should go without saying, but never leave your child unattended when they are in the pool. Even if they can swim a child can find themselves in trouble and not be able to get themselves out of a pool.
The statistics for how many children who can actually swim and drown in a pool when not being watched by a parent is truly frightening. Never leave a child alone in the pool….. NEVER!
Also if you and your other half are lucky enough to get out without the kids one day. Then it’s up to you as the parent to let the sitter or family member who is watching them know the pool rules! Even if you have to tell them that the pool is 100 percent off limits when you are not there.
Prevention Is Key!
The best way to prevent accidental drowning is to set up a few different systems to keep your child out of the pool. Here we are looking at ways to make sure your pool is as safe as possible.
Install a Safety Fence
The most obvious form of defense is of course a fence. We are not talking a cheap and simple fence, but one that is at least 4 feet high and solid. You want to make sure that your fence is not easy for your child to climb over. Now think back and remember just how easy it was for your child to climb over their crib. So it is not impossible to imagine that they could get over a small fence in the garden!
Make sure there is nothing they can use to help them climb over the fence.
Close The Fence With A Door That Will Lock Automatically
Having a fence alone is not enough. You have to make sure that the fence you have around your pool is able to be locked. Locked in a manner that makes it impossible for your child to open. You can actually get a fence for your pool that will auto lock whenever the doorway is closed.
This is what you want! You want a doorway that is always going to close once you open it and not one that can be opened by the wind or left open by accident.
No Direct Path From The House To The Pool
When we talk about a fence we do not mean one that goes around the pool, but leads to your patio doors. You want to make sure the pool is completely fenced off from your house. Last thing you want is for your child to wander out the back door and get to the pool. By keeping the pool completely separate from the house, you are making it much harder for them to get to the pool.
Sound The Alarm – Swimming Pool Safety For Kids
Look all us parents know that you can watch your child for 23 hours and 55 minutes a day, but in those five minutes you take your eyes off them, they are off causing all kinds of trouble. Alarms are the best way to make sure you know if your child has made their way to the pool.
Underwater Motion Alarm
There are cheaper alarms that detect motion above the water, but to be honest with you this is not what you want. These can be set off if the wind is high and will lead to countless false alarms.
You want an underwater motion alarm that will sound off if there is motion actually in the pool. An underwater motion alarm is the more reliable way to be alerted if your child (or something else) has gotten into the pool.
This is by far the most practical alarm for a pool that you can get and it is honestly something we feel every pool owner who has a toddler should have.
There are wrist bands available that also serve as an alarm. These will cause an alarm to go off if the wristband gets wet. These in theory are great, but of course they can go off at the slightest touch of water so they may be something that leads to a lot of false alarms. In all honesty these would not hurt, but getting a toddler to keep a wristband on for a whole day is a very tough task.
We think that an underwater motion alarm is the way to go.
Cover Up The Pool
Most people who have their own pool will have some kind of cover on it to keep animals, leafs and general garbage out of the pool. But a cover while good at keeping the garbage out of your pool (and saving you the hassle of cleaning it all the time) can actually be a dangerous thing!
These are the cheapest kinds of pool covers and the kind that we would bet most people get. These are covers that you will pull over the pool yourself. You get a variety of styles and for keeping a pool clean they are great.
But with a toddler running around this is the last thing you want. If a toddler found their way to the pool and fell on one of these covers it would be impossible for them to get themselves out, so please think about that before you decide to save a couple of bucks by getting a thin manual pool cover.
Electric Power Rigid Cover
These are made from rigid materials and it will be impossible for a toddler to pull a corner up and hop into the pool. As the materials are much stronger if the worst did happen and a child was to fall on it they may not sink like they would a thinner manual cover. This though if you have proper fencing around the pool should never actually be an issue.
Drowning Is Not Like It is On TV!
In far too many cases, toddlers have died by drowning even when parents were present. The reason for this is that not many parents actually can tell when a child is in danger. In the movies there is lots of splashing and calling out for help. In the real world this is very rarely the case.
Here we are looking at a few signs that your child is in trouble when they are in the pool. Never leave anything to chance and if you feel something is not right, get them out! If your child is showing any of these signs it is time to get out the pool. A child can drown in as little as 30 seconds so waste no time.
Signs of Drowning
Struggling To Swim: If your child can swim, but looks like they are really struggling something might be wrong so get them out of the pool, even if it is just for a rest.
Gasping & Fighting For Air: This is the most obvious one here, however people can easily mistake this for playing.
Mouth In The Water: We know kids like to mess around and put their heads in the water. But if their mouth is under and their upper head is out of the water they may be struggling or tired, get them out.
GET THEM OUT: We have said this a few times now, but we really want to smash this in. If you feel anything is wrong, get them out of the pool. It could be they are fine, but never, ever take that chance. We hate to sound horrible, but the fact is a child can drown in no time at all so no matter what if you feel something is not right,….. GET THEM OUT!
Be Prepared – Swimming Pool Safety For Kids
The best thing you can do is make sure that you and your child are ready for the responsibility that comes with having your own pool. Here are a couple of things to do that will help with this.
Teach Them To Swim
Kids love to swim so getting them to learn will be a fun experience for you both. In an ideal world a child should learn to swim at as young an age as possible. Please remember though that them being able to swim does not mean you can leave them unattended in the pool as even the most confident swimmers can have accidents.
Know Basic Child CPR
Most towns will have a community center or a local Red Cross that has a Child First Aid or CPR course that you can take. You may think this is a bit excessive, but when you have a pool on your property, you have to be ready for anything that can happen.
There are plenty of books on child CPR that you can read and of course 911 should always be called if there is an accident. But please make sure you know a little bit of CPR so you can be a good first response in case of an accident.
Keep The Pool Area Safe
By this we mean have all you need in case there is an accident. Things like a life preserver ring, arm bands, a first aid kit and even a large barge pole with hook are all things that should be in easy reach when you are playing in your pool.
Have Pool Rules
We don’t want to sound like having your own pool is like the biggest chore in the world, but we just want you and your family to be safe when playing. Enjoy your pool but have boundaries. Make sure you have a set of pool rules. Things like not going in or near the pool without mom and dad, get out when you are tired and so on.
One way to get the kids on board with these rules is have them be part of making the rules. Let them feel that it really is their pool and they will get behind making a set of rules to ensure the pool is safe.
Have Fun, But Stay Safe
Look we know that having a pool should be the most fun thing ever and hopefully your child will grow up with lots of fun memories playing with mom and dad in the pool. We want you to have as much fun as possible.
But please just make sure that while you are having fun you are staying safe. Remember that a huge part in pool safety is prevention and making sure things are as safe as possible before your child puts a toe in the pool.
We hope you find our swimming pool safety for kids article useful. Please share this article as much as you can, every accidental drowning we can prevent, is a precious life saved!
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