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Kids Water Safety Tips

 

 

By Paul Coles

 

Summer weather is the perfect time for kids to get outdoors, enjoy the warm days and beautiful sunshine. Children love the freedom to run, climb and play with water on hot summery months. But if you aren’t watchful, water can be potentially dangerous to young kids. Before you let junior dip his little toes into water this summer, soak yourself in this pool of water safety advice first.

 

How to Keep Kids Safe in the Water

 

Kids are thrilled by an exciting and splashing fun time in backyard swimming pools but the hidden dangers of a pool, whether in-ground or above-ground, cannot be overlooked. Children often lack the cognitive ability to discern dangers. Therefore, it's your responsibility as a parent/caregiver to protect young inquisitive explorers from entering any pool of water without close supervision.

 

Young kids can drown in only a few millimeters of water so constantly keep an watchful eye on them when in or around a pool. Never leave your kid unattended near water, even for a brief moment.

 

Do you know that a young kid can drown in as little as 30 seconds? A good rule of thumb is to have an adult for every two to three kids when there are more than one child in the pool.

 

It's wise to have an adult learn and practice basic lifesaving techniques, including First Aid and CPR. And, insist that anyone who cares for your kids learn CPR as well. Don't forget to keep poolside rescue equipment, emergency numbers and a telephone or cell phone close to the pool area.

 

While supervision is critical, the next best way to prevent an accidental drowning in your backyard swimming pool is to put a fence with a locked gate around the pool for agile climbers.

 

Young kids are little Einsteins – they're capable of unlocking gates (yes!), so you might want to consider buying gate that has doors with 2 locks, with at least one lock not within your kid's reach. In addition, carefully scrutinize all fenced areas to be sure kids can’t climb through or over the gate at any point.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fences should meet the following rules:

 

1. Fences should stand at least 4 feet (130 centimeters) high with no foot or handrails for kids to climb on.

2. The slats should be less than 4 inches (110 millimeters) apart so a child can't get through, or if chain link, should have no opening larger than 1¾ inches (50 millimeters).

3. Gates should be self-closing and self-latching, and the latch should be out of kids' reach. You might want to install an audible gate alarm that alert you inside the house if the gate is opened.

Regular checking of fence line for integrity, proper closing and locking not only prevent your kids from making their way to the pool, it'll also keep neighborhood kids from gaining access.

Remove toys away from pools when not in use. Toys and water are kids' magnet – they attract young kids and can become a deadly temptation when kids try to reach them. Keep toys particularly baby walkers,tricycles or wheel toys away from pool or pool area. A kid playing with these could accidentally fall into the pool and drown.

Keep potential "step stools" away from the fence. By that I mean, store patio chairs, planters, and other climbable items away from your outside perimeter.


Few parents realize that kid can die in a pool or hot-tub by getting sucked down and trapped in a drain. A kid’s hair or bathing suit can get stuck. Make sure you use an anti-entrapment drain cover for that any pool or hot tub drain.

 

The drain cover should also have at least two drains for each pump that will reduce the powerful suction if one drain is blocked. Before you let your daughter get into the pool, make sure she tie or clip her hair back, or wear a bathing cap and her swimsuit fits snugly with no loose ties. Remember to warn kids not to stick their fingers or toes into drains.

It's important educate your kids about dangers and teach proper pool and spa etiquette. Kids shouldn't run, jump or push around the pool and should never dive in areas that are not designated for diving.

 

Tell them dangerous and unfriendly games such as "holding your breadth underwater", "dunking" etc is never allowed. If the weather turns bad (especially if there's lightning), they ought to get out of the pool immediately, contact the lifeguard or an adult if there's an emergency.

Pools aren't the only danger, there are many silent water hazards lurking inside your home. Drowning can happen anywhere and anytime you'd least expected it. Sink, bathtub, toilet bowl, buckets, fountains and spas are potential danger spots. Always stay within touch supervision – keeping kids within an arm's reach, when your kids are around standing water at home.

Never leave a young kid unattended in the bathroom especially while bathing, even if he appears to be well supported in a safety tub or bath ring. Bathing seats and bath rings are designed to help you support a slippery kid during bath and not as supervision subsitute. If you have to leave the bathroom, it's best you wrap your kid in a towel and bring him with you.

Make sure to empty all buckets, bathtubs, large basins at once when not in use and turned over with the opening face down to avoid accidents. This also help eliminate and prevent mosquito breeding.

Do you know that toilet bowls are especially risky? A curious kid, when going in for a closer look, can fall in to a toilet bowl, head down first and drown. It's recommended you make use of  toilet cover clamps to lock down and keep lids shut to prevent clever kids from opening them up. These toilet locks are inexpensive and easy to install.

Now that you're well informed on
kids pool safety, it's time to loosen up and enjoy some water fun with your kids this summer afternoon!

 

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