Swimming Safety: Protect Your Children

Kids have an insatiable urge to use the pool as a playground. Vigilant adult supervision is the most effective way to avoid mishaps around the pool and ensure a fun, safe summer. But parents

to swim, there should be pool rules to help ensure their safety.

 

“The most serious accidents are those that result from diving,” Puetz says. “The vast majority of backyard pools are not [suitable] for diving, regardless how qualified individuals may be.”

 

Have the right equipment on hand

You have myriad options for pool products designed to improve swimmer safety. Below is a look at some of the most important products to

have on hand:

Drain covers. Protective covers are designed to prevent a child from completely blocking the drain and becoming trapped by the resulting suction. “More often than not, an entrapment occurs when the drain cover is cracked, broken or missing,” Puetz says. “All of

those things absolutely need to be secured, marked and properly in place as a whole unit.”

Rescue poles. Depending on the size of the child and the situation, it may be safer to extend a rescue pole to him or her instead of jumping

in, especially if the child is struggling. “Everyone should have [a safety tool] around the pool that they could throw in quickly,” Miller says. Life rafts and buoys are also good options.

 

Ladder. Ladders for aboveground pools are often purchased separately and may be moveable. Puetz urges parents to set up A-frame ladders squarely with the pool. Newer ladders also have barriers that prevent children from swimming behind them and getting trapped, Miller adds.

Alarm systems. Alarms can sound when the surface of the water is significantly disturbed, like when a child falls in. “Pool alarm systems are easy to install and definitely work,” Miller says. “A lot of people don’t know about them or they think they might be too expensive when they’re not.”

 

Functioning light fixtures. Broken or cracked underwater lights may have a faulty circuit, which poses an electrocution hazard, Puetz says. Replace broken light covers and bulbs as soon as you notice any damage.

 

“These kinds of products are layers of protection, and the more of them you have, the more protection you’re afforded,” Puetz says. “But at the

same time, none of them will ever, ever replace adult supervision.”

Keep Kids Happy After a Safe Swim

Once you’ve taken the proper precautions to keep kids safe in the pool, here are tips to avoid complaints after they’ve been in the water:

Dry skin:

The skin’s natural protective oils are constantly washed away in the pool, which over time may lead to chronically dry skin. Puetz recommends using a lanolin-based lotion after swimming.

Irritated eyes:

Constant exposure to water also can dry out eyes. If kids complain of eye irritation, it’s possible your pool’s pH may be out of balance. The body’s natural pH is around 7.4, and ideal ratios for a pool is between 7.2 and 7.6.

Green hair:

First, put down the dechlorinating shampoo, as all shampoo removes chlorine, Puetz says. Green hair is likely the result of excess copper in the water, which can enter the pool from your fill source. Grab some vinegar and wash the kids’ hair to remove the green.

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