According to the ILSF (International Life Saving Federation), an average of 1.2 million people around the world unintentionally drown every year, and more than 50% are children.
The water can be a cruel mistress, so we highly consider taking enough safety measures so you and your family can still have a good time in the pool while being free from harm.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so it’s a pretty good idea to enroll your child in swimming lessons while they’re at a young age. StateFarm points out that the risk of drowning decreases by at least 88% when kids from 1-4 years old learn how to swim. Adults can take some refresher courses as well, and you can find many swimming lesson programs through local recreational pools, parks, and gyms! You can even try to find some classes offered by The Red Cross in your area.
Many children tend to wander off and accidentally fall in the pool or need help trying to get out and eventually start to panic. It doesn’t matter if it’s a backyard pool, public pool, or even the beach, children should always be supervised by a responsible person, and they themselves should be able to swim if an emergency rescue is needed.
For infants and toddlers, adults should be close enough to keep the child within reach. Drowning can happen very quickly, so adults shouldn’t do distracting activities like talking on the phone, reading, speaking to someone with their backs turned, etc. Alcohol should especially be avoided in case of a drowning emergency.
Learn CPR/Breathing Techniques
In the unfortunate event that someone may be in a life or death situation, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can save someone’s life. For more information on how to learn CPR, the University of Washington School of Medicine has videos and illustrated guides to help you learn CPR and potentially prevent a tragedy.
Keep the Water Clean
In some instances, people can suffer from nasty earaches, skin infections, or serious rashes from dirty pool water, so it’s important that you keep the pool water clean by maintaining proper chemical levels and regularly filtering your water through a pool filter.
Poolside Safety Equipment
You can secure your pool with barriers that completely surround the pool with a 4-foot tall fence or self-latching gate. When the pool isn’t in use, place a safety cover and remove any ladders or steps to imply that the pool isn’t to be entered.
Additionally, pool alarms are probably the most reliable safety measures for they can notify you when someone is approaching or near the pool. This is an especially useful tool to use around small children who can’t yet read the warning signs. If you’d like to learn more and invest in a pool alarm, we recommend you read our take on a pool alarm buying guide.
Take Home Note
Pool safety is very important in order to prevent drowning and serious injuries. Now that you know what precautions to take, you can feel a little better knowing that you and your family are safe while enjoying the summertime!