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H Health and Safety

Pool safety tips for kids

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Swimming pools can be beneficial for kids. Swimming is not only fun, it is terrific exercise. In addition, a pool can set the scene for hours of quality family time, as well as playtime with friends. Sadly drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children age one to 14. Such accidents tend to happen very, very quickly.

It is reported that in most cases, the children involved were out of their parents' sight for less than five minutes. There is no substitute for vigilant supervision. But there are additional steps you can and should take — including these tips that you can take note of and also share with your children.

For Kids, tell them:

  • Always have an adult nearby. Even if you’re a great swimmer, you never know when you might need help.
  • Tell older siblings to set a good example so younger kids know how to behave. The pool is only safe when EVERYONE follows the rules.
  • Insist on no running! You could slip or trip — hurting not just yourself, but someone else as well.
  • Put toys away. People might trip over them and hurt themselves. No one wants that!
  • Swim with a buddy
  • If you're just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end.
  • Don't push or jump on others. You could accidentally hurt someone or yourself.
  • Don't chew gum or eat while you swim — you could choke.

As a parent:

  • Check the water depth. Children can get hurt diving into water that’s too shallow.
  • As a parent, if you have a home pool, barricade the pool completely. Experts recommend a fence of at least four feet tall, with slats close enough together that kids can't squeeze between them. Make sure there are no handholds or footholds for agile climbers.
  • Secure the gate with a lock. The best gates are self-closing and self-latching. Position the latches well out of reach of children. Install an audible gate alarm that will alert you inside the house if the gate is opened.
  • Tell your kids never go through any pool gates when they are closed. Stay safe and stay out!
  • Toys to help you float come in many shapes and sizes (an inner tube, air mattress, or beach ball, for example). Although they're fun and can help you while you learn to swim, what they can't do is save a life. They're toys that can lose air or float away.
  • Make sure your child learns how to swim, but never assume that he or she is safe in the water alone. Many parents overestimate their children's swimming competencies. Always, always supervise.
  • Learn CPR. If anyone else will be supervising kids in the pool, make sure they are trained as well.


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