Enroll Your Child in Swim Lessons
Continue them year round. Your baby can start lessons at 6 months of age. Also, learn how to swim yourself, if you don’t already know how. PRO Sports Club offers many options!
Keep Your Children Under Constant Supervision When Near Water
Never allow a child to be in the pool without an adult. Teach your children to love and respect the water. There is no such thing as “drown-proof.” Flotation devices and swimming lessons do not necessarily mean your child is water safe. They are not a substitute for supervision. Never assume someone else is watching your child in the water.
Wear a Life Jacket
Always make sure your child wears a Coast Guard-approved life jacket on boats, personal watercraft and in open bodies of water.
Create a Process Your Children Must Go Through Before Entering a Pool
A routine could include putting on a swim diaper, swimsuit and applying sunscreen. This will deter them from trying to jump into the pool on a whim. Also, create a word that you must give your children before they can enter the pool (e.g. “1…2…3” or “Ready…set…go.”)
Never Allow Your Baby/Toddler Into the Pool Without a Swim Diaper
If you use a swim diaper every time, your child will be conditioned to find the swim diaper before trying to enter the pool, giving you more time to intervene.
Never Use Flotation Devices of Water Wings
Water wings give a false sense of security and don’t allow the child to learn how to float and swim unassisted. If your child falls into the pool unexpectedly, he or she will not know how to float or find the side of the pool to exit the water safely. Also, water wings can come off or become deflated, again leaving your child in a potentially compromising situation.
Create a Water Safety Plan
Practice water emergency drills with your children that cover how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in water and what to do in this type of emergency.
Install Fences & Barriers
All barriers should be at least 4 feet tall around home pools.
Make Sure Your Children Learn to Swim Without Goggles
Children should be comfortable opening their eyes under water. This way, if they fall into the pool, they can find the side or a step and get out safely. To become comfortable with this, you can have your children practice in the bathtub by putting their entire face underwater and blowing bubbles. make it fun.
As mentioned above, installing a pool safety fence is essential when you have small children at home.