Temperatures are warming, the days are getting longer, and the kids are nearly out of school for the year. Summer is arriving in the Chicagoland area, and that means more time spent by the pool. No matter if you have a pool in your backyard, or if you travel to the community pool to splash around, you should take some time to brush up on your pool safety. Keep yourself, your family, and those around you, safer by practicing good habits all season long.
Keep an Eye on the Kids
When your family is at the pool, it is crucial to keep a close eye on your children. For smaller kids, an adult should be in the water within arm’s reach when the child is swimming. Older kids who are experienced swimmers don’t need an adult within arm’s reach, but adults should still keep an eye out for the child’s whereabouts.
Make Rest Times Mandatory
Swimming is a lot of fun, and kids don’t always want to stop their play. However, having mandatory rest periods is an effective way to keep children (and adults) safe. If you are at a community pool, lifeguards may take care of this for you, making an hourly announcement for a 10-15 minute break. During these times, encourage your kids to sit down, dry off, reapply sunscreen, enjoy a snack, and get out of the sun. Use this time together to see how everyone is feeling and make a decision if it is almost time to go for the day. If you are in a backyard pool, hourly rest breaks are still a wonderful practice and can keep everyone safer.
Don’t Overestimate Skills
Drowning can happen in an instant, and it can happen to strong swimmers. Be sure you do not make the mistake of overestimating the swimming skills of those in your care for the day. Keep beginner swimmers in the shallow end and assure no one goes into the deep end unless they can successfully swim a few laps of the pool without touching the ground.
Have an Emergency Plan
While most backyard and community pools are safe every day during the summer, you should still review what to do in case of an emergency. Know how to contact first responders, and have a family plan of action.
The summer is full of memories to be made at the pool, and you can increase safety for everyone for being vigilant and assuring an adult is always present when kids are swimming. Stay safe out there!