The warmer months of the year see kids splashing into the swimming pools joyously. Kids of different age groups enjoy swimming and various water sports with friends either in the public swimming pools and clubs or at home.
Undoubtedly, swimming carries a number of health benefits, and parents are quite eager to train their kids in swimming at an early age. Many parents lack proper knowledge about swimming pool safety and as a result drowning cases of kids are very often heard of.
Statistics released by the American Academy of Pediatrics reveal that most of the pediatric deaths are caused from drowning, with infants and toddlers of age group 1-2 years topping the list. This scary data clearly reveals the fact that ignorance and lack of awareness of the parents and trainers are mainly responsible for kids drowning cases.
Check the Eligibility Criteria of Kids for Swimming
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has set guidelines for kid’s swimming activities that mention kids should go for swimming only after he or she has attained four years of age. The physical development of the kids below that age is not suitable to take up water sports of any kind. Many swimming clubs and pools display attractive aquatic activities for infants and toddlers as marketing purpose, and parents do a blunder by allowing their kids into the unsafe hands. It is the first and foremost duty of every parent to check the eligibility criteria of their kids before taking them for swimming.
Risk Factors in Swimming Pools
Even if your kid attains the desired age to for swimming, it is your duty to assess the risk factors in swimming pools and stay away from them. This is the preliminary swimming pool safety measure that one should follow. AAP strongly recommends deployment of CPR trained supervisors in swimming pool to save kids from accidental drowning and suffocation.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend regular checking of the pool drains and other outlets as these may trap the kids underwater. Polluted and contaminated pool water is the breeding ground for bacteria and germs that may cause a number of infectious diseases, especially flu and diarrhea. Check the cleanliness of the pool water before allowing your kid into it.
Swimming Pool Safety Measures for Your Kids
The following swimming pool safety measures will help you and your kids enjoy various water activities during summer.
Inculcating swimming pool safety habits in kids
Whenever kids start swimming, they should be taught proper discipline and safety rules by parents and trainers. Many accidents arise out of in disciplinary actions of school going kids in the pool. Kids should strictly follow the safety rules while enjoying pool activities.
Avoid Running Around the Pool
Children often indulge in running and chasing each other around the pool banks out of merrymaking, but this could be dangerous. A sudden push or loss of balance may result in drowning of a child. The kids should be trained properly so that they refrain from such activities.
Never Allow Kids to Swim Alone
Kids should not be allowed to enter the swimming pool premises alone even if they are well trained in swimming. It would be a gross mistake from the part of the parents and trainers to be over confident of the swimmer kids.
Presence of CPR trained supervisors is a must when kids enter the water. Parents must check the presence of certified trainers before admitting their kids in swimming clubs.
Watch the Kids While Swimming
There can be no better swimming pool safety measure than keeping a strict vigilance on the kids while swimming. The onus is totally on the parents and trainers. Parents while should not take eyes off their kids for a minute while enjoying swimming with them.
Avoid eating While Swimming
Swimming pool is not the right place to enjoy snacks or any other food items. Kids should not get into the water with chewing gums or chocolates in their mouth. This can cause choking during swimming and create a life threatening condition. Parents should strictly guide their kids to throw out chewing gums before entering swimming pool premises.
Avoid drains and suctions
Faulty drains, spouts and suctions located in the swimming pool can cause a sudden injury to the kids specially those who are 5- 9 years old. Staying away from faulty drains and suctions is another important swimming pool safety measure. It is the duty of the pool supervisors to check the drains to avoid any accident.
Practicing Buddy Rule is Important
Following the Buddy Rule is an essential swimming pool safety measure. This rule is useful not only with the kids but also with experienced swimmers. None can predict danger in the swimming pool. It is always advised to swim with another person or in pairs so that one can reach out for help in case of any danger or injury.
Never Rely on Synthetic Floaters
Synthetic colorful floaters are widely used by kids while swimming and they love using these things in water. One should not rely on these floaters as they often create risky situations. Floating vests are better options in maintaining swimming pool safety habits.
Follow “touch Supervision”
If you are in the pool with your infant and toddler, be sure that your kid is always within your arm’s reach. Never allow your kid to drift away from yourself. American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends “touch supervision” as an important swimming pool safety habit where the kids should always be within arm’s length.
Keep rescue Equipments At Hand
The rescue equipments should be always kept within reach whenever kids are in the water. American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the presence of shepherd’s hook, telephone and floating vests within the reach while kids are swimming. This will enable prompt rescue action when needed.
Home swimming Pool Safety Measures
Drowning incidents in home swimming pools are also often heard of. Swimming pool at home requires extra safety measures besides those mentioned above. Kids should not be left alone in the pools. Adult supervision is must to prevent drowning incidents. Surround the pool with sturdy fencing of about 2 feet high to prevent accidental drowning.
Install locking system on the entrance gates to prevent trespassing of the kids. Install special alarms that will alert you immediately if anybody enters the pool premises unnoticed. Get yourself trained in CPR and first aid or hire CPR trained persons when you and your kids are using the pool.