July 11th: National Swimming Pool Day – 5 Tips to Keep Young Children Safe

Summer is heating up which means families will be heading to pools, lakes, and beaches to cool off. It is crucial that parents prioritize water safety, especially for young children. July 11th is National Swimming Pool Day, a time to review and reinforce safety measures, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for kids and parents.

Here are five key tips to help keep young children safe in and around bodies of water:

1.Water Supervision: Always supervise children in water or have a designated and trusted watcher if you are with other adults. Whether the watcher is actively engaging with the children or staying on dry land, it is important to not have distractions. Drowning can happen quickly and quietly which means the slightest distraction could alter a fun outing.

      2. Secure Pool Barriers: This tip is for those who own pools or live close to the water. Installing gates around water access areas with self-closing/latching doors will go a long way in preventing hazards. These gates should be tall enough and have small gaps so children cannot force their way past. Securing drainage systems and checking water currents can help ensure a safer environment. While adults may not be affected by pool drainage systems or slight currents, children are susceptible to being pulled by these forces against their will and often do not understand the danger until it is too late.

        3. Swim Lessons/Water Familiarity: Enrolling children in swimming lessons and familiarizing them with water early is beneficial for understanding their capabilities. One of the best skills to learn is how to back float. As young children get older, they can develop better water skill sets. Even with age and trust, it is always recommended to have supervision or a swimming buddy.

          4. Proper Pool Floatation Devices: This tip may seem obvious, but two common mistakes are using unregulated floatation devices and allowing kids to take off personal floats before they are ready to swim without them. Signs that children are ready to swim without flotation devices include being able to back float and tread water for extended periods of time, being able to get in and out of the pool with ease and being comfortable submerging in water. Inflatable toys are not acceptable forms of safety for children who need proper flotation devices to swim. Life vests keep children safe.

            5.Education and Communication: If your child is at the age where they can communicate, it is important to talk about the dangers of being in all types of bodies of water. Urge that all the precautions are for their safety and explain the severity.

              Drowning is the leading cause of death for children one to four years old. By staying informed and vigilant around bodies of water, you can decrease this risk greatly. Take time this National Swimming Pool Day to utilize these tips and ensure that enjoyable water activities remain safe for everyone involved. 

              Further suggested reading about this topic:

              Dom Bird