Is the thought of playing lifeguard for the entire summer a little overwhelming? Don’t stress! With some simple rules and guidelines in place, your pool will be fun and safe for everyone. It is important to remember that there are many different levels of protection that you can have, but nothing replaces the constant supervision of children when they are in or around a pool – by a responsible adult who knows how to swim.
There should always be a designated adult to watch over the pool without distractions. That page-turner you got at the library the other day? It would be a good time to use your bookmark. Your favorite television show coming on? I love my DVR. Don’t assume anything because even good swimmers can drown.
Pool parties are a blast. They can be fun for kids and adults, but certain steps should be taken to make sure it is safe fun for everyone. At least one adult should be in or by the side of the pool, watching to see that all the rules are being followed. Take head counts at set intervals to make sure everyone is accounted for. Remember that if the kids take their activities inside, the pool still needs to be supervised. It is a good idea to lay down a set of ground rules for those who will be using the pool to make supervision a little bit easier. Most rules that are in effect at a public pool should also be followed at yours. No running, no horseplay and unless you have a designated deep end intended for it, no diving.
Whether it is hosting a pool party or just watching your own children, the number one thing that everyone should learn and follow is the buddy system. Even if you know how to swim, you shouldn’t go in the pool alone. Learning to swim however, is helpful no matter what your age. Using an inflatable device like a raft or floaties is not a substitute for knowing proper swimming techniques. Nobody is saying that you have to be the next Michael Phelps, but learning the basic strokes at an early- age is the best way to go for any pool user.
Everything that is important to remember in and around your pool also goes for other swimming locations. If you are using a pool in a hotel or swimming in a lake or an ocean, it is still a good idea to follow set rules and have a designated adult to watch the water. Even if there are a lot of other people around, don’t rely on strangers for your safety.
As the temperatures start to heat up this summer, don’t sweat about watching the little ones. If you know about the ABC’s of pool safety (alarms, barriers, and covers) and follow the supervision guidelines we’ve discussed, you can stay cool in the pool. Swimming is a great way to stay healthy and active… for you and your kids. Now you know how to do it safely.