As Santa Clarita shivers in the clutches of a cold spell, summer looks further away than ever. But with the New Year beginning, summer and its now missed heat are riding towards you on a downhill sled. Those triple digit temperatures will be here sooner than you know it, and like you now lament the winter chill you will then bemoan the summer scorch. Soon, you will be running for those pools.
Outdoor swimming pools are a summer staple, but they can also be a source of worry for parents with small children. With scary statistics coming to light each year, such as 5200 children are treated for pool related injuries each year, pool safety should be a priority. By discussing these five tips for outdoor pool safety, every parent can prevent their child from being one of those statistics this year.
Tip 1: Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool.
This tip seems like an obvious recommendation, but many of the accidental injuries and drowning’s at pools are a direct result of an adult neglecting to carefully watch the children. Parents believe that because their child has had swimming lessons or is wearing a flotation device that they are not at risk for drowning, but they are wrong. Swimming lessons and flotation devices are not adequate substitutes for responsible adult supervision.
Tip 2: Fully remove pool covers whenever a pool is in use.
A swimming child can easily and quickly become trapped under a partially covered pool. Even if a child is properly supervised, accidentally getting stuck under the cover is a possibility, and the covers are usually difficult to remove. That time between the incident being noticed and the cover being removed the rest of the way can be critical. Ignore the urge to be quick and cut corners when preparing the pool for children to swim and make sure that the cover is completely off and put away.
Tip 3: Completely fence the pool.
Self-closing and self-latching gates are a gift to those who may be a little absent minded when surrounded by wet, screaming children. An unlocked gate is dangerous in the hands of a child who was told to leave a pool before he was ready. Preventing easy access from children protects them from accidents that may happen when unsupervised children are in the pool. Again though, a fenced in pool is no substitute for adult supervision.
Tip 4: Either have a shallow pool or teach younger children to stay out of the deep end.
Children tire easily, and those ambitious children who are drawn to the deeper waters may be at risk of sinking below the surface once their feet no longer touch the pool floor. Either opt to design your pool so that it is of a shallower depth or warn young children of the dangers of swimming in the deep end. Once they are older and stronger swimmers the deep end won’t be as much of a danger and can become a new, uncharted swimming territory for them.
Tip 5: Keep the toys and the pool separate.
Children do not always see possible dangerous situations: if a toy falls into the water, they do not realize that they might fall in and get injured or drown, they simply reach for the toy. It is up to the parents to prevent such a scenario from even being a possibility. Keep all toys that are not meant to float in the pool away from the pool. Even smaller toys meant to be thrown into a pool and retrieved can be a hazard if precautions are not taken and awareness lapses
It may be difficult in the winter to remember the concerns that arise in summer, but considering outdoor pool safety tips now will not only take you into the daydreams of a heat wave, but it will also make them easier to recall and be aware of come June.