12 Home Pool Safety Tips For Every Parent

A backyard pool provides unlimited summer fun, but comes with the enormous responsibility of keeping our children safe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite everything we know about prevention, drowning is still the leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children ages 1 to 4. Drowning is also a common cause of accidental death in children and young adults. from 5 to 19 years old. In fact, around 900 children die every year in swimming pools, oceans, lakes, streams, bathtubs and even buckets of water, while many more sustain non-fatal injuries.

You and all other family members have the ability to keep children safe. Here are 12 ways to prevent children from drowning.

  1. Teach children that water can be dangerous and that they should never approach or enter water without an adult present.
  2. Make sure your child is “properly” supervised around the water. Put your phone away. Kids can drown out the time it takes to download an Instagram photo.
  3. Know and recognize the signs of a child in distress. Typically, children drown silently and quickly when standing in water with their heads tilted back. Contrary to what is depicted in the movies, children splash around, rarely wave their arms or scream for help.
  4. Consider enrolling your child in swimming lessons. Even if you don’t live near water, your child will eventually be there, whether on vacation or at a friend’s house. Swimming lessons cannot “protect” anyone from drowning, but according to a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it does decrease the risk of drowning.
  5. Hire a certified professional to inspect the pool’s safety cover, electrical components, and fence before opening the pool for the season.
  6. Knowing even basic CPR and reacting immediately – rather than waiting for emergency responders – can mean the difference between life and death in the event of drowning or whenever the heart stops beating.
  7. Be careful when using inflatable pools. According to research, they are responsible for 11% of swimming pool drownings in children under 5 years old.
  8. Never rely on water wings, inner tubes, noodles or floats. They are not lifesaving devices.
  9. Install a fence at least 4 feet high on all four sides of the pool. Young children should not be able to climb over, under or through the fence. Make sure the door leading to your pool automatically closes and locks and swings outward. The distance from the bottom of the fence to the ground should be less than four inches. Latches should be placed above the reach of a child. Never leave a door leading to the pool open.
  10. If possible, keep the pool covered when not in use. Make sure the cover is secure over the entire surface of the pool. Otherwise, a child could get under it and get stuck.
  11. Be very careful of pools with suction drains that can trap a swimmer underwater. Few parents realize that children can die in a swimming pool or hot tub by being sucked in and trapped in a drain. Tie their hair back or have them wear a swim cap and make sure their bathing suit fits snugly with no loose ties.
  12. Watch your child closely and make sure they don’t swim or play near sewers.

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