Toddler and Pool Safety
My crew grew up in the pool. They swam long before they could even walk. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes that many parents make concerning toddler and pool safety is thinking they can simply keep an eye on their toddler and know his or her whereabouts at all times. This just isn’t the case when around water. While adult supervision is crucial to toddler safety, we’re all human, and no one is the perfect supervisor. And toddlers are fast! One moment you see them and the next second they are gone!
In fact, some sources report that the majority of toddler pool incidents happen when there are adults supervising. Accidents happen, but relying on your powers of observation alone should never be considered good enough. That’s why experts and multiple sources recommend combining adult supervision with other precautions.
Here are some tips for keeping your toddler safe around swimming pools this summer.
If you are at a group event such as a party or family reunion where there is a pool, it may be tempting to assume someone else is watching your toddler. This can be a very dangerous assumption. Make sure you or someone specifically designated is watching your toddler at all times.
Maintain Barriers and Boundaries
Toddlers grow and change. The low fence that kept your crawling baby away from the edge of the pool may not work once she begins to walk and climb. You will need to re-evaluate your barriers constantly, updating them to keep up with your growing and changing child. Four feet, or 48 inches, is considered the minimum height for a toddler-safe barrier around a pool. Check locks and make sure they cannot be reached and are toddler-proof.
If you have a doorway that leads from your house to the pool, consider installing an alarm. These are becoming more popular among parents whose toddlers can silently get out of their sight and out the door before they know it. “Pool alarms” make a loud sound that alerts parents the instant the door is opened.
Ladders and Steps
If you have an above-ground pool, make sure that all ladders and steps are blocked off or removed completely from the area when no one is actively using the pool.
Set and enforce rules for acceptable behavior in or around the pool. Post these rules in a visible area and make sure all caregivers, babysitters, and family members see and understand them. All supervisors who are watching your toddler should know basic CPR appropriate for young children.
Keep pool toys away from the pool area when not in use. Toddlers often move toward toys they see lying out. Have life jackets or flotation devices available, and put these devices on your toddler as a precaution during family gatherings or any time the pool is open and in use. A telephone should be close by and easily accessible in case of an emergency. Print out and laminate an Emergency Procedure Plan.EmergencyDoc2
Mount this on the closest pole or wall that is visible from the pool. Make sure all the guests know where to look if they need to call 911. This Emergency Procedure Plan will have your address and basic cross street information that can be given to emergency dispatchers right away.
What other safety measures do you use around the pool?