As the temperatures rise and children on summer break look for fun activities, splashing and swimming in pools seems like a cool option.
Scores of children will dive into summer in backyard, community or resort pools over the next few weeks. But regardless of the child’s age, or their ability to swim, experts are again cautioning parents about the risks associated with children and pools.
Here’s a set of tips from the American Red Cross for parents to help keep kids safe this summer:
- Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.
- Keep children under active supervision at all times. Stay in arm’s reach of young kids. Designate a responsible person to watch the water when people are in the pool — never allow anyone to swim alone. Have young or inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Ensure everyone in your home is a capable swimmer by enrolling them in age-appropriate water orientation and learn-to-swim courses from the Red Cross.
- Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors, such as “No diving,” “Stay away from drain covers,” “Swim with a buddy” and “Walk, please.”
- Ensure everyone in the home knows how to respond to aquatic emergencies by taking water safety, first aid and CPR courses from the Red Cross — and having appropriate safety equipment on hand.
CHOC Children’s also provides some information on drowning prevention, including information on CPR, the risk factors to watch for, and other tips.
Note: A version of this article previously ran in June 2018.