Today I welcome Kaitlin from An Apple Per Day to Guest Post on Rainy Day Mum about a very important topic especially with summer here in full force and although we don’t have a pool at home we do where we vacation and also use our paddling pool often and the same applies so handing over to Kaitlin to talk about her Top Tips for keeping kids safe at the Pool this summer.
Once the kids see that it’s getting warm outside, the excitement starts to build – summer pool weather is coming! My kids just love playing in the water, but they can get rowdy, so safety is a big concern. As well, I work hard to make sure the pool itself stays safe for them. Here are my tips for keeping the kids safe at the pool:
We have rules.
I have to go over the rules with my kids, and I don’t try to remind them while they’re anxiously jumping around, ready to get in the water. My husband and I have a family meeting – in the house – to remind them of the behavior we expect at the pool. We talk about why “no running” is so important. It’s not just Mom and Dad being mean, but if they slip on a wet place on the deck, they could get hurt. We put up a big plaque with our rules on it, and if they push the limits, which they sometimes will, pointing to the rules actually sometimes works. Here are some great sites with more information about pool safety:
One of the things we established early on with our kids was that they could only swim if we were there. We take our supervision job seriously. When the kids were young, we used “touch supervision” – one of us was within arm’s reach at all times. Now that they are older, they can swim on their own, but we still make sure one of us is watching the kids at all times. When we’re “on duty” we don’t let our attention stray to burgers on the grill, making snacks, or anything else.
Secure the pool area.
We put a fence up around our pool, to make sure we could control the access. We put a gate with a locking mechanism in the fence, and the kids know they aren’t supposed to climb over the fence to use the pool. It also limits access should one of the neighbor children get into our back yard. The fence we installed was recommended (not chain link) and was 4 feet high, with no footholds on it.
We got alarms.
We put an alarm on the gate that makes an audible sound if someone tries to use it without the code. We put a floating alarm in the water which sounds an alarm if a large object falls into the water. So we would know if the kids even went into the back yard, we put an alarm on the back door of the house, and that one window that opens onto the back yard. We heard that adding layers of protection to the pool area was important, and we took that seriously.
We oriented the children to the water at home, and began fundamental swimming motions when they were pretty young. We wanted them to have formal swimming lessons as well. It is recommended that kids have developed enough by the time they are 4 years old to have lessons, so that’s when we enrolled each of our children. We could tell how their confidence increased in the water after they had learned to swim.
My husband installed a first aid kit on the fence next to the pool, with a big red cross sign above it. I put up emergency numbers next to the phone by the back door. We are both CPR certified, because those few minutes before emergency personnel arrive could be critical.
The kids are begging us to let them swim, even though it’s still a bit too chilly just yet. But we smile at how excited they look, confident that when they take that first plunge, we will be keeping them safe at the pool.
Kaitlin Gardner started AnApplePerDay.com to further her passion for a family friendly, green living lifestyle. She is married to her best friend and lives in Pennsylvania. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking, biking and enjoy nature. She just started her first book about living an eco-friendly, healthy, natural lifestyle.