Taking your kids to the pool this summer sounds like a lot of fun, right? Your children can run around and play with their friends. But what you might not know is that fatal drowning is the third-highest cause of unintentional deaths in the world. More than 350,000 people die each year from fatal drowning. That is why I’ve put together some tips to help make sure your visit to the pool this summer is nothing but fun.
1. Swim Lessons are a Must: Enroll your child in swim lessons today! There is no safer way of preparing your child for a summer full of fun at the pool than making sure they can swim. You can start at any age! A study by the American Red Cross found that only 56% of Americans can successfully complete the “Water Competency Sequence” or their version of a swim test. It involves jumping into water over your head, returning to the surface and floating/treading for 1 minute and then swimming 25 yards. If that sounds like something you can’t do, start preparing today and sign up for swim lessons at a pool near you!
2. Listen to the Lifeguards: Lifeguards are there to make sure the patrons at the pool are safe. Never swim at a pool that does not have a lifeguard present. Most of what is a lifeguard does is proactive and preventative. They actively watch patrons who are using the pool and enforce rules, so you don’t get hurt. They also perform swim tests to make sure children who are not proficient swimmers don’t get in water that is too deep for them. Be sure to listen to the lifeguards this summer so that you have a safe visit.
3. Wear a Lifejacket: If your child is a weak or non-swimmer, make sure they wear a properly fitting lifejacket. However, it is important to know, a child is still able to drown in a lifejacket if they fall forward. Whenever your child is in a lifejacket, make sure you or an adult are within arm’s reach of that child to make sure they stay safe. An air-filled or foam toy is not the same as a lifejacket and is not designed to keep your child safe.
4. Put your Electronic Devices Down: Too many times at the pool I see children playing in the water unattended. You might ask, where is the mom or dad? They might be using the restroom, or they might be relaxing in a chair with their phone or tablet in front of them, paying no attention to their child. My tip for you is to be in the moment. Get in the water and interact with your child. These moments go by fast and staying involved with your child at the pool will help make sure your child stays safe.
5. Use an Appropriate Sunscreen: According to American Academy on Dermatology, you should apply SPF 30 daily and SPF 50 before engaging in outdoor activities. The sunscreen you use should protect against UVA and UVB Rays. You should also read the directions and make sure to reapply throughout the day. It is important to know that according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the United States than all other cancers combined. If you are planning on spending a large amount of time outside at the pool this summer, be sure to cover up or wear an acceptable sunscreen.
I hope this information helps and I hope to see you at the pool!
Written by: Brian Cann