Summer pool safety is entirely in your hands. You must keep watch at all times on your children. It only takes seconds for drowning to happen. Seconds.
Summer Pool & Water Safety For Kids & Families
Keep Your Eyes on Your Kids
If you have to step away for a bathroom break or to refill your water bottle, make sure someone has eyes on your child. Actively ask one specific person, “Can you watch Winnie while I go get something inside?” It seems super obvious, but I’ve been places where kids go under for a split second after turning away and it is completely horrifying. Actively supervise children at all times when in or around water, and make sure you have the right equipment to keep pools safe.
If you have a pool or are thinking of getting a pool this season, safety fences are literal lifesavers. Infant House Dallas is our go-to for childproofing and safety measures in and outside of the home. They installed a removable fence from Pool Guard Texas. They drill one-inch holes into the decking, about three feet apart, and a mesh self-locking fence is then constructed. It’s fastened to the walls on both sides, and as long as all of the latches are in place, the gate will self-lock upon shutting. It’s easy, safe, and doesn’t totally wreck the view since it’s mesh.
Floating Water Alarms
Floating water alarms float on the surface of the water and an alarm will sound when or if a child or pet falls in. The most popular one used in my circle of moms is the Pool Patrol Floating Pool Alarm. The alarm sounds both from the device in the pool and throughout the house, up to 200 feet away.
For more information on pool safety, check out Children’s Health’s tips on Drowning Prevention.
Protect skin from the sun
Apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher whenever your child is going to be outdoors. Reapply every three hours or immediately after your child has been in or splashed by water. Try to avoid outdoor activities during peak sunshine hours, and consider dressing children in sun-protective clothing.
Most swimwear has SPF and we’ve even made it a habit to wear SPF clothing or rash guard around pool or lake days. The Texas sun is brutal and any extra bit of skin protection helps. While UPF doesn’t wear off like sunscreen, parents should keep in mind that while wet, UPF is usually cut in half. Good to know!
When in doubt, wear a life jacket, & always wear a life jacket on open water.
When the pandemic hit, many families started engaging in water sports around nearby lakes. We had friends purchase boats, canoes, kayaks, learn how to fish, ski or tube and enjoy “lake life.” Lake safety involves being hyper-aware of your surroundings and always erring on the side of extra caution, especially when children are involved. Life jackets are non-negotiable when we are on the lake. If you’re on a boat, you’re properly wearing a life vest. Even if the water is shallow and you’re enjoying time on the Lake Texoma “beaches,” you’re in a life vest.
If you’re heading to the lake to cool off this summer, make sure to bring a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. A properly fitted life jacket is snug, yet comfortable, and will not move above the chin or ears when you lift it at the shoulders. See more tips for boating and lake safety.
Puddle jumpers will not cut it at a lake. Please invest in a life jacket complete with leg straps for your small child, especially if you plan to visit lakes or oceans this summer!
My advice: Splurge on swim lessons. When I was researching swim lessons and coaches, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t really know where to start and how effective some programs would be compared to others. We looked at group swim lessons, public pool lessons, private in-home lessons, and chains such as Emler and Lifetime.
Find a place that works for your family and just begin somewhere. Water safety is imperative; “For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries,” according to the CDC.
Children’s Health is here to provide safety and awareness this summer, in an effort to keep all families and kids healthy and happy in and around pools, beaches, or wherever your summer plans find you this year. For more information for a safe summer, check out Children’s Health’s 10 Summer Safety Tips for Kids.