Swimming is the number one summer activity, but safety needs to be your first priority. Sadly, drowning is the number one cause of unintentional fatalities for children five and under, and the second-leading cause for children under 14, according to the CDC. Protect your little ones this summer with this handy checklist.
Ten Steps to Pool and Water Safety
- Teach children how to swim as soon as they are old enough. When your baby is 6 months old, you can join a parent-child swimming class to familiarize them with water and can enroll in actual swimming lessons around age 3 or 4.
- Stay within arms reach at all times around children who are not pool safe.
- Designate someone to actively watch when children are in the pool. Limit things that may distract you when you're on duty, such as your cell phone, socializing, and drinking.
- Ensure you have proper fencing around your pool. Use at least a four-foot tall fence and self-closing gates.
- Place a safety cover on your pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access.
- Use the buddy system. No one should swim alone.
- Establish and enforce rules and safe behaviors around the pool, such as "no diving" and "walk, don't run."
- Make sure everyone wears swim-level appropriate safety items, such as a life jacket or floaties.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapment.
- Take a CPR class to be prepared in case of emergency.