Safe Moms, Safe Kids: Pool & Water Safety

Tips for keeping your family safe by the pool and beach this summer.

Summer is here and it’s hot! The best thing to do with your family on a hot summers days are to hangout beside a pool or go for a swim at the beach.  Unfortunately for parents, this is often far from relaxing.  How are you supposed to read your book and sunbathe (with sunscreen, of course), while your child is off in the dangerous world of water?!

Well, too put it simply, you can’t.  You should always have your eyes on children while they are in and around the water.  We don’t want to scare you, but drowning is the second leading cause of death in children aged 1-4.

There are a few things that you can do to prepare your child for stressful situations that might arise while they are in the water. We also have some tips that you can use to ensure your pool area is as safe as possible, to put your mind at ease a little bit.  This being said, you should never leave your young child unattended around the pool.

We did the research for you, and have created a list of important things to remember and/or do to make your swimming experiences positive.  Securing your backyard pool and educating your child about the importance of water safety could be the difference between life and death.  Check it out!

kids in a poooool

Swimming Safety

  • Personal Floatation Devices: Your child should always be wearing a personal floatation device to ensure that they will stay above water in an emergency situation.  Even if your child is an able swimmer, you should still enforce the lifejacket rule until you consider them an advanced swimmer (and even then, they should still be supervised).  If you need help finding out which type of PFD is best suited for your child, just click here.
  • Swimming Lessons: Enrolling your child in swimming lessons is the best way to prepare them for swimming emergencies.  Even a PFD won’t help very much if the child panics in a dangerous situation.  By enrolling them in swimming lessons, they will become more comfortable around water and be more likely to remain calm in a stressful situation.  You can also sign yourself up for basic lifeguarding skills.
  • ALWAYS SUPERVISE: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again.  Always  have an eye on your children.  For very young children, keep them within arms reach.  If you have to run to the washroom, make sure the kids get out of the pool.  Your kids might whine, but it’s much better then coming back to a child lying face down in the water.  Sorry for the morbidity, but water safety is no laughing matter.
  • Go somewhere with lifeguards: If you are an untrained swimmer, you should use public pools and beaches that have lifeguards.  Then you can keep an eye on your children, and will have back up help there if it is needed.

Pool Safety

  • Build a fence: Building a fence around your pool can prevent tots from sneaking in when you aren’t around. Try to ensure that it is at least 1.2 meters high. Also, ensure that your backyard is fenced in and that the gate to the backyard is locked at all times.  Most areas have regulations on the fencing rules around pools, consult your local bylaws.
  • Keep your pool covered at all times.  When you are not using the pool, ensure that you have it covered.  Better safe than sorry.
  • Have lifesaving equipment ready. Keep lifesaving equipment (such as a safety ring with a rope), a first aid kit, and emergency phone numbers near the pool, just in case.
  • Keep toys, garden furniture, and tools away from the pool fence. Children can climb up on these items to get over the fence and into the pool.

Beach Safety

  • Watch the weather forecast. Ensure that there is no harsh weather in the forecast so that the waves won’t be too dangerous.
  • Sunscreen.  I know this doesn’t have anything to do with water safety, but it’s an important part of living life at the beach! Remember to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure, and then every hour at the beach, and after every time they swim.
  • Footwear.  Remember to keep your children’s feet protected with water shoes and sandals, to avoid stepping on broken glass and sharp rocks.

Keeping all of these points in mind, you and your family should be set for a safe, fun time at the beach. Remember to stay alert, but also relax and have fun!

So tell us:

What pool safety tips do you have?

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