Pool safety is very important to me. As a mother of twins, I was outnumbered from the beginning when I took my kids to the pool alone. I am diligent about water safety, especially when no lifeguards are present. Hitting the swimming pool is one of the best parts of any vacation, but accidents can ruin the fun. Pay attention to these safety tips and your family will build nothing but happy memories at the pool.
Use flotation devices
Whenever we are in water that's over my youngest child's chest, I make sure she wears a life jacket. I do not depend on arm floaties or inflatable tubes, because those are not true flotation devices. Until she can successfully float in the water and swim the width of the pool unassisted, she will be required to wear a life jacket. If you're on vacation, check with the resort or local surf shop to see about renting one for the week.
My older two kids took swim lessons when they were younger. But they still wear life jackets if we are at a lake or river. Drowning can happen much more easily in murky, unknown water. Fortunately, almost all drowning deaths are preventable if swimmers wear life jackets.
Get in the pool
While lifeguards do a great job of watching out for danger, their presence does not ensure that accidents will not happen. Besides, many hotel swimming pools do not have lifeguards on duty, and even those that do often have areas that the lifeguards cannot see clearly at all times. The best way to keep your kids safe is to get in the pool with them and enjoy the water together.
Stay close to little ones
My older kids have more freedom than my youngest. I try to stay close to her or make sure someone trustworthy is close to her at all times. Swimming pools are exciting for little kids, and they have a hard time following the rules. It's not at all unusual for a very small child to jump right into the deep end of a pool, run full speed around the slippery edge or get into places they do not belong. Stay close to your little one to help them avoid accidents.
Pay attention to your lungs
Beware of pools that are murky, dirty or have an overwhelming or strange chemical odor. If you or your kids have trouble breathing, feel lightheaded, or notice a burning sensation as you breathe, leave the pool area immediately. The chemicals used to treat pools and hot tubs must be in the right balance, or noxious fumes can result. These can be dangerous or even deadly.
Obey the posted rules
Rules against diving, running and horseplay are there for your protection. Obey the rules, use good common sense, and enjoy the pool safely when you swim. A safe vacation is a happy vacation, for parents and children alike!