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June is National Safety Month and with kids getting out for the summer I thought that it would be great to freshen up our safety skills around and in the pool.
I grew up with a pool in my backyard. I loved being able to walk out our back doors and just take a swim. However, I started learning how to swim at the age of 3. At the age of 5, we moved into our house with a pool in the backyard. My father was not worried as much since we knew how to swim, but we were never allowed to swim without supervision and the outside thermometer had to say greater than 80 degrees. He said otherwise we would catch a cold. Another rule was to wait 30 minutes after eating before being able to swim, however, this is a myth.
We now live in a neighborhood with a community pool and I have anxiety each time I take my 2 and 3-year-old there by myself. They always have lifeguards on duty when the pool is open, but they are there for emergencies not for babysitting or teaching your children how to swim. I have spoken to one of them and they informed me that while on the stand they can’t talk to others as their eyes need to be constantly on the water. This makes perfect sense and I am so appreciative of this.
KNOW THE FACTS:
- In the United States, someone dies from drowning every 10 minutes.
- One out of every five drowning victims is a child, and, for every child who drowns, another five children get hospitalized for a related incident dealing with water.
- Drowning is the No. 2 leading cause of death for kids aged 5 to 14 and No. 5 for all ages.
Tip #1: Do NOT run, pushing, or horsing around the pool. Have the rules understood, as well as, if the rules are broken what the consequences are.
Tip #2: NO glass of any kind should be around the pool or in the pool area.
Tip #3: Do NOT dive into a pool that has a sign for no diving. This may sound like common sense, but most common spinal cord injuries are a result of diving into shallow water.
Tip #4: Do NOT drink alcohol around the pool as it impairs your judgment and coordination.
Tip #5: Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming underwater or hold their breath for long periods of time as they are at a higher risk of passing out underwater.
Tip #6: If you are young or an inexperienced swimmer you should wear a Coast Guard Certified Life Jacket and keep it on till you are away from the pool area.
Trick #1: Never swim alone and always have a buddy in case of an emergency.
Trick #2: ALWAYS have active adult supervision. I leave out the sunscreen, towels, snacks, and water all before hopping into the pool that way I don’t have to take my eyes off the water.
Trick #3: If the adult must leave the pool area so do the kids. I instilled this in my boys just recently.
Trick #4: Never assume and always be aware of your surroundings including every child as seconds count. It only takes a second to start drowning and it is silent.
Idea #1: Secure pools with appropriate barriers. It is best to install a four-foot or taller fence around backyard pools and use self-closing and self-latching gates that open away from the pool.
Idea #2: Consider door safety alarms if your door opens directly into the pool area. Using a surface wave or underwater alarm will also give you added protection from accidental falls into the pool.
Idea #3: Empty portable pools when not use and store away. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water.
Idea #4: Never leave floats or pool toys laying around as they can block your view and be a trip hazard.
Idea #5: Keep a first aid kit, life preserver, and phone around should you have to call 9-1-1.
CLASSES YOU CAN TAKE TO FRESHEN UP YOUR POOL SKILLS:
The National Swimming Pool Foundation offers some really great classes with some being strictly online for pool and spa operators to aquatic risk management.
The American Red Cross offers swim lessons and water safety classes for all ages. They also offer CPR classes that will fit just about anyone’s schedule. Find a location near you today as with practice you may be able to save a life.
Amanda over at TheKriegers.org has a wonderful post about pool safety too with great tips, tricks, and resources to have a safe summer by the water.