As the weather gets warmer, you can’t help but stare at your backyard pool, anxious to begin a new season of memories with friends and family. No matter the season, pool safety should always be top of mind where children are concerned. With safety barriers – or layers of protection – in place between the home and the pool, you can experience the pleasures of backyard swimming pools and feel confident that children, grandchildren and visitors will be safeguarded from pool accidents.
It’s impossible to watch your children every second of every day. There are times when a parent or caregiver is distracted by answering the phone or door, household tasks or checking email. Unfortunately, accidents tend to happen very quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 14. The CDC reports that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents’ sight for less than five minutes.
If you have a pool, you have a responsibility to safeguard it. There is no substitute for vigilant supervision. But there are additional steps you can and should take to keep everyone safe – including these:
- Never prop a gate open for convenience or during pool parties. It’s simply not worth the risk.
- Ensure children in the home learn how to swim, and that adults know CPR. CPR can make the difference between full recovery and brain damage or death. If anyone else will be supervising kids in the pool, make sure they learn it, too. Impress upon babysitters that they must follow your safety rules.
- When children are in the pool, designate a “water watcher” to maintain uninterrupted supervision of children in the pool at all times.
- When not in use, keep toys and other objects out of the pool area, and don’t use chlorine dispensers that look like animals or toys that will attract children.
By following some pool safety precautions, you can give your family great memories that will last a lifetime!