Protect Your Kids from Drowning

When it gets warm outside, many people are anxious to take a dip in the pool. However, if you have children and a pool in your yard, you need to take steps to protect your kids from drowning. Hundreds of children in the U.S. drown in pools every year, but if you follow these tips, you can be sure that your kids will be safe.

Statistics

Just over 300 kids in the U.S. die each year due to accidental drowning in pools. Additionally, more than 3,000 children are injured in pools every year. About 80 percent of children drowning happens in backyard pools. Thus, while you should definitely be concerned with your children's safety when visiting beaches or community pools, you need to make sure your kids are safe at home as well.

Teach Your Kids How to Swim

First of all, even if you do not have a pool, you need to teach you children how to swim. Just because you may not have a pool, does not mean that your kid's friends do not have one. If you cannot teach them how to swim, consider enrolling them in a swimming class. Knowing how to swim can save your children's lives one day.

Make sure you talk with your children about pool safety as well, and set some rules pertaining to swimming in the pool and playing near it. Do not allow your kids to run or wrestle with each other around the pool; and finally, never allow your children to swim in the rain, especially when there is thunder and lightning.

Never Let Small Kids Swim Alone

You should also never leave your kids alone near your pool and never let them swim alone. Always make sure that an adult is with them when they are swimming. If you need to go inside, even if just for a minute, take your kids out of the pool. It only takes a second for a child to drown. Do not rely on floatation devices either.

Additionally, learning CPR is a must, whether you have a pool or not. CPR will enable you to save your children's lives if necessary as well as the lives of others. There are many places that offer these classes free or at affordable rates such as your local community center, fire department, community college or hospital.

Pool Safety Devices

In many areas of the U.S., it is required for people to have pool fences surrounding their swimming pools. Pool fences are crucial for any family with small children. Because kids are naturally attracted to water, they may try to enter the pool area when others are turned the other way. Sadly, many of the drownings that occur in backyard pools each year could be easily prevented with a sturdy fence. Once pool owners have decided to install a fence, they should ensure that it completely encircles the pool. Even small gaps can be hazardous for toddlers, who have a knack for finding the weak points in most structures.

Gates provide the swinging mechanism by which all pools can be accessed. If men and women have placed a chain-link fence around the pool, then the gate can be made part of the structure. It is essential that a padlock be placed on the gate door so that it cannot be unceremoniously swung back on its hinges by ambitious toddlers. In fact, the locks on most gates might even be accompanied by a key so that no one is able to access the water without permission.

Pool covers are another way that kids can be kept safe. Covers will come in a broad range of styles and textures. While soft covers will float over the surface of the water as pseudo-buoyant objects, hard covers will cover both the water and part of the surrounding patio. Hard covers are more durable and will be better for safety. Because they are also heavier objects, it will be very hard for young kids to move them. When it comes time for a responsible swim, one of the adults in the household will be able to drag the pool cover to the side so that the swimming area can be readily accessed.

Pool nets can also be considered a crucial part of safety. They can generally be used to skim debris off the surface of the water after a particularly harsh wind event. The nets should be kept in a safe place so that they can be brought out whenever a cleaning is needed.

Once the practical measures are in place, parents should also perform one more key task. By explaining the rules of the pool to their young children, those children will be much more likely to stay out of danger. In fact, some men and women might even wish to set some rules for teenagers as well. A ban on running on the concrete will probably be a good start. Likewise, no one should be allowed to dive headfirst into a pool that is only a few feet deep.

With some common sense, all of the kids in the family will remain safe through the sultry months of summer. They will be protected against injuries and drowning and will still be able to enjoy themselves around responsible adults.