4 Fail-proof Ways to Keep Kids Safe at the Pool

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During the hot summer months, pools are a great way to have fun and relax with your family. However, drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths among children, so it’s critical that parents take the proper steps to keep everyone safe. 

Rosa M. Mendoza, M.D., family medicine doctor at JFK University Medical Center, offers four ways parents can keep their kids safe at the pool this year.

1. Practice Active Supervision

When your children are splashing in or by the pool, designate yourself or another parent to take the role of active supervisor. While actively supervising, avoid distractions such as cell phones. Supervisors should avoid alcoholic beverages. “It is also important to stay within arm’s reach of your children so that if something were to happen, you are not too far to take action,” Dr. Mendoza says. “If you need to step away, designate another active supervisor first.” 

2. Teach Water Safety

Another way to implement safety by the pool is to teach your children about water safety and how to swim at a young age. Each child’s emotional maturity level and physical development is different, so there is not a standard age for every child to start swimming lessons. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that swimming lessons can begin for many children starting at age one. Studies suggest that swim lessons and water skills training reduce the risk of drowning for children. “I would also recommend that parents learn CPR in case of an emergency,” Dr. Mendoza says.

3. Provide Adequate Safety Equipment

Always keep the necessary safety equipment close to the pool area. This includes life jackets, reaching poles and a first aid kit. It is also important to ensure that you and your children know how to use these tools in case of an emergency. 

4. Establish Clear Rules

It is critical to enforce pool safety regulations for your children. Suggestions include:

  • No running near the pool. No diving into the pool unless the water depth is safe 
  • Enter the pool feet first (unless diving in a safe, deep zone) 

“By taking these proactive safety measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure your child’s well-being at the pool,” Dr. Mendoza says. 

Next Steps & Resources

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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