Beat the Heat Poolside: Child Safety
July 16, 2019
There is no better way for the family to beat the summer heat than enjoying a nice cool dip in the local pool. We’ll cover our top pool safety tips to help keep your children safe all summer long.
While choosing a pool with a lifeguard is a great first step to safety, it is simply not enough. Lifeguards are responsible for monitoring a large number of children, so it is extremely important to actively watch your kids.
- Maintain constant supervision.
- Keep young and unskilled swimmers within arm’s reach.
- Never put your child’s life in the hands of another child.
- Avoid distractions of any kind.
With all this being said, you can still enjoy some ‘me’ time at the pool to catch up on your social media feed or devour a chapter in your current must-read. The key is to have a designated Water Watcher. The Water Watcher is similar to a designated driver; they are responsible for being an undistracted pool watcher and sport a badge that reminds them of the importance of their duty. Parents can work together in shifts to ensure the safety of their children, while each gets a little time to themselves.
Poolside education for the whole family is key to keeping everyone safe during the summer. Drowning is usually silent and can happen very quickly, that’s why it is important for everyone to be able to recognize the signs, so action can be taken quickly:
- The mouth may be at water level, or the child may bobble just below and above the surface.
- An older child may be attempting to float, and their head may be tilted backwards with arms out to their sides or in front of them while remaining vertical. Infants/toddlers are not as strong, so their heads will most likely be submerged with hands and arms hardly moving.
- Glassy, closed, or wide-open eyes.
- Choking, hyperventilating, or gasping for air.
It is recommended parents should:
- Enroll in a CPR/First Aid course or maintain current certifications.
- Note where lifesaving equipment is upon entering (floats, first aid, etc.).
- If your child is missing, check the water first.
It is recommended children should:
- Have parents enroll them in age-appropriate water safety and swim lessons.
- Have set rules (ask permission to enter the water, no running, no diving head first, no dunking, swim with a buddy, etc.).
It’s important for us to protect our little one’s skin and eyes from the harmful effects of the sun.
- Appropriate swimwear for child’s age, sunglasses, water shoes (traction/hot cement), and large brim hats.
- Apply Sunscreen 30 minutes before entering the pool and every 2 hours after.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard Approved life jackets/preservers: remember pool floats, noodles, water wings, and the like are intended for fun and not to assist in keeping a child afloat
- Regular hydration is key to a healthy, alert kid. It’s best to offer water every time your child gets out of the water, and try to avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible in the heat.
For a summer of endless fun, keep these tips in mind.