With the summer warm up in full swing, there are few things more refreshing and inviting than swimming in the pool. Friends, family, kids laughing, and all while lying in the sun, playing Marco Polo or diving for pool toys. The pool is a wonderful place for kids and families to experience but we need to keep in mind a few rules and tips that keep everyone safe and sound. Our children are our most important treasures and just a few steps can help protect them and our neighborhoods.
Community pools are a fabulous choice, and often less crowded than rec centers, but it’s important to be aware they usually come with warning signs posted that no lifeguard is on duty. Our community pools strive to create environments where families spend time together and enjoy the amenities of the community while building relationships with neighbors and friends. The summer season already goes by so fast, it is our hope that families and parents can enjoy their time engaged and present making memories and lasting bonds. It is with this in mind that community pools elect not to hire lifeguards and therefore are not suitable places to leave children unattended. It is imperative during the pool season, even if a lifeguard is present at the pools you choose to attend, that no children are left alone by any body of water for any reason. Young children should always be supervised, they are often drawn to colored toys and anything new with their curious nature. Don’t be afraid to speak up and teach your children to speak up if they see something unsafe as well, we can all take care of each other.
Life jackets or flotation devices to wear while swimming can make all the difference for your littles too – they even make some adorable options complete with aquatic creatures! Older children should be made aware of risks to diving in pools that are too shallow and encouraged to always use the buddy system. And swim lessons are a great option for any age!
If you have an above ground or inflatable pool, make sure there are no obstacles to trip over and that access is secured and covered when not in use. Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in an emergency and how to call 9-1-1. Children are often afraid of consequences if something goes wrong, but the focus should always be on getting help regardless of the situation. There are also classes on CPR or emergency measures for anyone old enough in the family to become certified.
It’s important to remember the risks of a child drowning and such tragic loss that occur every year far outweigh the inconvenience of taking time to reiterate pool rules and create boundaries around this fun summer activity. With safety present in everyone’s minds, there is more freedom to enjoy the activities everyone loves including swimming.