Living in an apartment may mean easy access to a pool, but that’s all the more reason you must discuss pool safety tips with your kids and any children who visit you. Making sure that you and all kids heading to the pool practice the following:
1 – Never Let Kids Swim Unattended
What seems like common sense is too often pushed aside. Children should never swim without adult supervision, so make sure that you let children know they are not to head to the pool without your permission and without a responsible adult in tow. Explain that even adults should never swim alone, as it’s an important pool safety tip to have help nearby in case of an accident.
This also means that you can never leave kids in the pool alone “just for a minute.” It may be tempting to run into your apartment to grab something or watch the kids from the apartment window if you live that close to the pool, but every second counts when a child is in trouble. Even a minute without supervision can lead to devastating consequences.
2 – No Running
Giddy children scream, play games and run, but make it clear that an important pool safety tip is that the pool is a place where no running is allowed-ever. With the concrete surfaces that are often soaked, it’s too easy for a child to slip and hurt him or herself or even fall into the pool. This is a common cause of head injury and broken legs or wrists; combine a head injury with falling in the pool, and the chances of drowning increase exponentially.
3 – Always Wear a Life Vest
For very young children, inflatable pool toys or water wings aren’t enough for proper pool safety. Not only can these inflatable devices pop, leaving a child unaccustomed to swimming without them struggling to stay afloat, but they can also easily slip off or away from the child. Instead, fit your children with fastenable life vests that offer both maneuverability and safety.
4 – No Diving
Children should never dive without the aid of a swimming instructor and most children are too young to attempt this in any case. Many apartment pools prohibit diving all together. Explain to your children that diving increases their risk of injury, particularly if the pool isn’t deep enough.
5 – Prepare for the Worst
Bring a cell or house phone (make sure you get good reception) with you when you supervise children in the pool, so that you can call for help immediately in the case of disaster. If there is no lifeguard on duty, also bring some safety supplies to help you in the event of disaster, including plenty of dry towels, a first aid kit and a blanket to keep an injured child from going into shock.
Practicing pool safety tips can prevent injuries, accidents and quite literally mean the difference between life and death. Don’t forget that you have as much, if not more, of a role to play in swimming safely as do the children you’re watching.