Keeping kids safe poolside with ‘layers of protection’

Nothing is better than a day by the pool, right? Parents of young children might disagree.

Spending time at the pool with small children, especially multiple children at the same time, can be downright nerve-wracking. But here are some things you can do as a parent to make your experience a little more relaxing.

First, some background: Up until two years ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics did not recommend that children between the ages of 1 and 4 take swimming lessons. Why? Because they are not developmentally ready to learn the skills to swim. Thankfully, that recommendation was reversed in 2010. Now, the AAP recommends that children DO take swimming lessons as infants and toddlers.

There’s a good reason why: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children, ages 1 to 4, have the “highest drowning rates.” Unfortunately, many of those drownings occur at home.

Swimming lessons is a must, in our opinion, to keep children safe poolside. That’s one of five “layers of protection” that were cited in a recent New York Times article. Here are the other four:

  • Adult supervision for children next to the pool. Flotation devices and swimming lessons should not be used to ensure a child’s safety in or around a pool.
  • Monitoring of children INSIDE the house. Parents know it’s not always practical to know exactly where older children are in the home. But it may be wise to install  devices on doors leading to the pool that will warn adults when a door has been opened.
  • Fencing around the pool that is four feet high and includes a gate with a latch.
  • CPR or rescue training for adults who will be supervising children around the pool.

Hope that helps! We want to make your time around the pool as safe, fun and stress-free as possible.

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