Sometimes parents just need a break. That’s where babysitters come in! That said, when there’s a pool nearby, caregivers should take special care. To help navigate these waters, here are some pool safety tips for babysitters.
Water Safety and Babysitters
When it comes to babysitters and pools, it pays to be extra careful. First of all, a caregiver should always understand your house rules. For example, a babysitter should never let the kids play in the pool without express permission from their parents. Ultimately, most parents will want to make the decision on whether or not their kids are allowed to take a dip. Obviously, this counts for hot tubs and kiddie pools as well.
A Note on Kiddie Pools
Those adorable little play pools may seem harmless, but they can pose an unlikely drowning hazard. It doesn’t take much water to cause a tragedy. Drowning can occur even in a puddle if the mouth and nose are submerged. Therefore, babysitters should take as much care around kiddie pools as they do around full size pools. Finally, don’t forget to drain and flip the kiddie pool when the children are finished playing. Otherwise, it could collect rainwater and become a dangerous hazard for a future date.
Lay Down the Law
Before anybody steps foot into the water, it’s important for your babysitter to reinforce your designated pool rules. These should be basic rules are a reminder for the children before swim-time and will help to keep them from getting wild or into trouble. Here are a few sample rules:
- No running in the pool area.
- No diving.
- If it starts to rain, everybody needs to get out of the pool. If lightning strikes the water, there’s a potential for severe danger. For more information, read our blog about electric shock drowning.
Active Supervision is a Babysitter’s Best Friend
When it comes to babysitting, active supervision is the name of the game. In the water, always pay close attention to the swimmers. Whoever is watching the children should never allow themselves to be distracted by anything, including a phone, social media or a book. Additionally, they should always remain within arms reach of the little ones and never let the children out of your line of sight, even for a moment. That counts for both for when children are in and out of the water.
Locked and Alarmed
If everyone is in the house, the pool should be locked up. That means that the pool fence and any doors or windows that lead to the pool area should be secured. For additional safety, any alarms that alert if someone unexpectedly gets outside should remain armed.
Beware of Floaties
We’ve written about the dangers of floaties before. To keep our recommendation simple: floaties are not a reliable floatation device. Instead, children should only use life jackets that have been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. These life jackets adhere to rigorous standards and will help to prevent a potential tragedy.
CPR is a Lifesaver!
Every active supervisor should be licensed in CPR. The importance of CPR cannot be understated. During those first critical moments of a dangerous drowning incident, a quick-thinking person can avert disaster. It’s a life-saving skill that benefits everyone, young and old!