There are any number of dangers lurking inside the average residential home. Whether it’s a hot stove, a sharp knife, a bottle of poisonous cleaning fluid, or a backyard swimming pool or spa, we have to be careful about where we let our children go and what we let them do. Part of growing up is learning how to stay safe around such dangers, and part of that education is pool safety.
Don’t Run Near A Pool
This is a classic pool rule for a good reason. Not only can it get slippery around the edge of a pool thanks to splashing water and the drops that fall off a person climbing out of the pool, but you’re more likely in general to slip and fall while you’re running than while you’re walking. And while that could mean a skinned knee or a bruised elbow on level ground, it could mean something worse if you fall against the edge of the pool or if you go into the water without holding your breath first.
Never Go Into The Water Unsupervised
Even at a residential pool without anyone who even resembles a lifeguard, children should never, ever use a swimming pool or spa without adult supervision. Optimally, even adults shouldn’t use a pool without a friend to watch their back, but this rule is far more important when it comes to children and inexperienced swimmers.
Non-Swimmers Should Use Flotation Devices
Usually this means a full life jacket, but it can also mean inflatable arm bands or anything else you can strap onto a young child that will keep him or her afloat. While you don’t need such protections for children who know how to swim or ones who can safely use the shallow end of the pool, you should consider flotation devices mandatory for young children and swimmers who are either inexperienced or who tire quickly.
Keep Away From The Pool Drain
A properly installed and maintained pool drain should not pose a danger to anyone no matter how young or old, but there have been accidents in the past thanks to improper installations and pool pumps that were dangerously strong. As such, it’s safer, in general, to teach your children to stay away from the pool’s drains and avoid messing around with them.
An unsupervised pool can be just as hazardous as a steep basement staircase or a cleaning cabinet without a childproof door. But with supervision and a few lessons on pool safety, it can be a great way for a family to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon.