Ah, summer. For our children, there’s just nothing like the joy of sunshine and no school. And is there anything better than a big day at the pool? It’s one of the best ways to beat the heat and enjoy friends.
But as parents, we can never take safety for granted. Drowning remains a leading cause of death for young folks; the National Safety Council reports 10 drowning deaths every day in the United States.
Here are ways to help your child stay safe at the pool, courtesy of the American Red Cross and the National Safety Council.
Before You Go
- Get swimming lessons…but understand that won’t “drown proof” your child.
- Put on sunscreen. Nothing ruins a summer like a bad sunburn. Too much sun is just not worth the long-term risk.
While You’re There
- Be aware of your child, and stay in the present moment with them. Actively supervise your children. There’s no better way to do this than just jump in! Never leave your children unattended.
- Be aware of lifeguards, but don’t depend on them. They’re not babysitters. They can’t see everything. Also be alert for unguarded areas.
- Never leave the pool without your child.
- Teach your children not to play around drain covers. It prevents them from getting stuck or sucked in.
- If a child is missing, check the water first.
- Teach your children not to jump on or “duck” others, or engage in any other rough play. Aggressive play increases the risk of injury or drowning.
- Teach your children not to run around the pool. A slip on the rough concrete really hurts, and could even lead to a serious head injury.
- Don’t drink alcohol while watching your children at the pool. The pool is your children’s playground, not yours. Alcohol dulls awareness, and you’ve got to be alert.
It’s Still Fun And Games
Keeping these simple safety rules will not just make for a safer summer, but it leaves plenty of room for tremendous excitement for both you and your child. Even if you’re on the sidelines, you can still enjoy the warmth and relaxation of talking with friends—you don’t have to make eye contact to enjoy it. And for us adults, it doesn’t get much better than enjoying our friends and our children at the same time.
Stay safe out there and have lots of fun, folks!