Pool Safety

For as long as families have had swimming pools in their backyard, children and adults have always been at risk of injury. There are many things you can do as a parent to protect not just yourself, but from your children from hurting themselves while at the poolside.

One thing to be sure of, especially with younger children, is to never leave them alone either in or near the swimming pool. You never know when your child may slip on the edge and fall in, or get a cramp and need an adult to pull them out of the water. If your child is younger than say, five or six, practice what they call "touch" supervision. This means if your child is around five or six years old or younger, be sure to keep them within an arm's reach at all times while in the pool. You may also want to keep items like a life preserver and telephone near the pool, in worst-case scenario cases.

You may not think it could happen to your child, but drowning is a very real danger. More than 3,000 children are treated in hospitals each year from injuries suffered from poolside accidents, including submersion. Ten percent of those children ultimately die from their injuries. Many of these children drown while their parents are in within earshot of them, even though the parents are never aware that there is even a problem. This is because many times a child does not splash when they are drowning, and even though many parents run inside to get a drink or grab the phone, in those few seconds a child can submerge under the pool water and drown.

There are other ways to protect your child from harm at the pool, even when they are not actually in the pool. One way to do this is to simply cover your pool when not in use. Pool covers are simple to use and relatively cheap to buy, and last you a fairly long time. If you already have a standard outdoors tarp, that can work as well. The pool cover ensures that your child, should they be playing by the pool area, does not actually fall into the pool water. Another possible considering should be in constructing a fence that separates your pool from the rest of your backyard. While a fence is by no means a full proof method of keeping your children away from the pool, it does add an extra barrier for them to get through and will in fact stop them practically every time.

There are other things you can do to keep your kids safe, as well. For instance, removing any toys from the pool after the children are out will ensure that they are not tempted to reenter the pool to play with them more. Also, consider looking into buying floating alarms. These devices float on the surface of your pool, and sound an alarm either at the pool or from a receiver in the house that will alert you to sudden current changes in your pool, such as a falling person splashing.

And of course, always teach your children to swim. Teaching your child to swim is the single easiest way to ensure they do not drown under the waves.