Little children are drawn to clean and sparkly swimming pools. Things float in it. It’s fun to splash. But water safety is no laughing matter. Anyone can have a water-related accident — even children who know how to swim. To keep your children safe, Xcel Swim School offers local swim lessons for all ages and several area locations. June classes are available. Sign your child up today, and in the meanwhile, follow these guidelines whenever you’re around water with your child.
• Don’t assume that children who know how to swim don’t need supervision. Accidents can happen to anyone, no matter what age or swim ability. Even strong adult swimmers should avoid swimming alone.
• There is no substitute for adult supervision. A responsible adult should always watch children during all activities in or near the pool.
• Don’t assume that someone is watching. Just because there are adults present at a gathering or party doesn’t mean they are watching the swimmers. Adults often get caught up in socializing and might not even notice that a child is in trouble until it’s too late. Designate someone to watch the swimmers at all times.
• Don’t rely on flotation devices. “Floaties” or swim aids can’t take the place of supervision. They can shift position, slip off or deflate suddenly, leaving children in a dangerous situation.
• Don’t leave children unattended, even for one minute. Most child drowning incidents occur when an adult “just went in the house to get the phone” or “just walked away for a few seconds.” Keep a phone outside and if you must go in for some reason, take all children out of the pool until you can return.
• Remember that just having a pool on your property is a potential drowning hazard, even when there are no swimming activities.
If You Have a Pool
• Block access to pools, spas and other water features in the yard using approved pool barriers. There should be no direct opening from the house into the enclosed pool area, so that the barrier completely separates the pool from the house and the play areas of the yard. Make sure the barrier remains in place when the pool is not in use.
• Remove all toys from the pool and deck area after every use so that children are not attracted to them and tempted to gain access to the pool.
• Keep basic life-saving equipment by the pool and know how to use it. A pole, rope and personal flotation device are recommended.
• Learn CPR and make sure that all residents and caretakers in your home know what to do in case of a pool emergency.
• If a small child is missing in the house, check the pool first, before all other possibilities. Every second counts when it comes to drowning.