Before we know it, pools will reopen for summer and the kids will be hitting them in droves to cool off. Whether it’s a community or a backyard pool, safety must always be top of mind. Here are some key safety tips you need to know.
According to the American Red Cross, drowning is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. It’s responsible for more deaths among children ages one to four than any other cause, except birth defects. Children under age one are more likely to drown at home. For children younger than five, 87% of drowning fatalities happen in home pools or hot tubs.
How to Stay Safe
Always take precautions while swimming. Here are some basics you should know when you or your children are around water.
Always watch the kids when they are in the water, even when a lifeguard is present. Drowning accidents are much more likely when the victim is alone or unsupervised.
Teach your child how to swim. There are many free or reduced-cost swimming lessons available in local communities.
Check the water first, if a child is missing. As many as 69% of young children who are found submerged in swimming pools were not expected to be there.
Children should never play or swim near drains or suction outlets. Never go into a pool or spa that has a loose, broken or missing drain cover. Locate the emergency vacuum shutoff in a spa before getting in.
Install proper fences, barriers, alarms and covers around your pool and spa. A fence should be at least four feet high and surround the pool area.
Walk, don’t run near a swimming pool. Children and adults can easily slip on the wet concrete.
Don’t forget the sunscreen. You don’t want to have to deal with burns after a fun afternoon of swimming.
In Case of Emergency
Be prepared in case of emergency. It helps save lives.
If you have a pool and children, learn CPR, and stay certified. Many hospitals and community centers offer classes. Always have a phone available. Teach children to notify an adult immediately if someone is struggling in the water.
Get out of the pool if thunderstorms are nearby. Lightning can strike suddenly, even if there’s no rain and skies are blue. Take cover immediately. Stay out of the water for at least 30 minutes after the storm has passed.
If you follow these safety tips, you can enjoy many hours stress-free by the pool this summer. Oh, and don’t forget to have plenty of water and snacks on hand for hungry kids and adults! Actively swimming or playing in the pool can burn up to 300 calories an hour.
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