Drowning is one of the biggest killers of children under five and is the most common reason for accidents and death. While most of these drowning cases occur due to negligence or lack of supervision, one can prevent them by being vigilant while around the pool, educating and creating awareness in your children about pool/water safety.
The importance of teaching children about water safety
Teaching a child about water safety begins with the parent’s knowledge of the pool fencing legislation in their area and their responsibilities as pool owners. In this article, we will include details on how to teach children water safety awareness and familiarisation to keep them safe in and around water.
Learn more about Building a pool that’s safe for children in another interesting article.
A checklist of top 15 things parents need to consider for children’s water Safety!
- Children must be closely supervised by a responsible adult while in and around the pool or spa.
- While supervising young and weak swimmers, stay within an arm’s reach to provide help when needed.
- Ensure all the gates to the pool are self-closing and self-latching.
- Maintain the fence height as per the regulatory guidelines to restrict the children from crossing over the fence.
- Maintain the gaps between the fence bars as per the guidelines to stop children from getting through the fence.
- Ensure the pool barrier fence gate is never propped open.
- The area around the pool and the pool barrier is free of any climbable items that can aid the children to access the pool, for example, chairs and BBQ.
- Enrol children into swimming lessons under a trained instructor.
- Educate and teach your children water survival skills.
- The adult supervising the children in the pool should know water survival skills and CPR.
- Look for signs and use only designated areas for swimming.
- Do not forget to remind your children about the pool rules each time before they enter the water.
- Keep a fully stocked first aid kit handy for use in case of emergency.
- Empty and deflate portable pools after use.
- Remove any water toys after children are finished swimming.
We have another interesting article on How to ensure spa safety for the entire family for guidelines on how to stay safe in the spa with children while having a fun and relaxed time.
Things parents should teach kids and why they’re important
Children can be curious at times and may want to explore things while having fun. Teach the kids and young children water safety measures and remind them regularly to ensure that they are aware of the ways to stay safe.
The parents must teach their children to stay safe in the water and to save their own life. Here are some guidelines on the things that parents should teach kids about water safety.
- Swimming under the active supervision of responsible adults: Actively supervise children when they are in the water. Teach them the importance of not swimming in the absence of a responsible adult. Explain to the children the importance of staying in the designated area to make it easy to watch them in the water. Advise children to stay away from corners or blind spots for ease of monitoring.
- Teaching kids how to swim via professional lessons: The children who learn to swim are more confident and can keep themselves safe in case of urgency. Learning swimming survival strokes can help them come out of water in case of trouble, and children need to learn and practice them regularly.
- Teaching children CPR: We know that any responsible adult supervising the children in water must be CPR trained. Also, it is an incredible skill for children to learn. Train your children to provide CPR to someone when in need. Remind them to call a lifeguard or an adult if they notice someone needs help.
The importance of safe barriers
Safety barriers keep the toddlers and children away from water and avoid access to the water when not accompanied by an adult. If you own a pool in your residence or visit the swimming pool with family and children, it is your responsibility to know that safety barriers can save lives.
Keep yourself updated with the local legislation around the safety barriers and educate your children as well. Teach your children the importance of safety barriers and explain how they help to keep them and others safe.
Tips for Being Water Smart
Below mentioned are some top tips that will help children stay safe in and around water!
1. Teaching kids how to find a lifeguard
Teach your kids the role of lifeguards in the swimming area and how they work to keep everyone in the water safe. You can explain the below-mentioned facts about the lifeguards to teach your kids how to find a lifeguard when they need one:
- You can locate the lifeguards at the pool wearing red clothing/red T-shirt/red jacket that read ‘LIFEGUARD’ to make it easy to identify them.
- They carry a whistle to draw the attention of the swimmers or for an emergency.
- They carry red tubes to extend and help swimmers get out of the water safely.
- The lifeguards also carry a hip pack that holds emergency equipment for use in an emergency.
- They sit on tall chairs to get a better view of the area they are guarding.
2. How to get in and out of a pool safely?
It is also wise to teach your children to get in and out of a pool safely.
Most pools have steps or a ladder to get in and out of the water. But in case there is none, you can teach them the following:
To get into the water:
- Sit on the poolside with legs in the water
- Twist on to the tummy to turn backward
- Slide down backward in the pool while holding on to the poolside
To get out of the pool:
- Begin by placing both hands on the poolside, push down on your hands to raise your body above water
- Support your tummy over the poolside
- Lift one knee to place over the pool edge and get out of the pool
3. How to stay safe if they attend a pool party
During a pool party among a crowd of children and other guests, it is not uncommon for adults to lose focus on children, and it can often lead to accidents or drowning.
There are ways to safeguard your children if they are attending a pool party:
- Know the location where they will attend and the number of guests expected.
- Identify if there are enough CPR-trained adults available to supervise the children. Water watchers shall monitor the children for a block of 15 – 20 mins each without losing focus or getting distracted.
- Offer to be present at the party to help watch over the children while in and around the pool.
- Let the party organisers know the swimming abilities of your children attending the party.
- Feel free to ask about the safety measures made available by the host to keep the children safe.
In addition, we suggest another article on How to have a safe pool party for more information on staying safe and having fun in a kids pool party.
By following all the practices and the guidelines in this article, we hope you will keep your children and loved ones safe and enjoy the time.