Today, let’s talk about how to properly supervise children by the pool. Keeping an eye on kids is important for water safety, but it can be much more involved than many of us suspect. As you will see, adults merely being present is not enough. An adult should be supervising children at all times while they are in a pool. Shockingly, in 60% of child drowning incidents, the child was being “supervised” by one or more adults.
Now, one can easily assume that none of the adults involved in those tragedies intended for harm to come to a child. But the fact that the child drowned on their watch shows a clear lack of understanding about what it means to truly supervise children around water.
Just to be extra safe, let’s go over some proper safety procedures for maximum pool safety.
Safely Supervise Children With These Handy Tips:
- Infants and toddlers need extra attention. As the adult, you should always be in the water. Make sure to stay within reach at all times.
- For older kids, an adult should still pay close, constant attention. When you’re on lifeguard duty, treat it like a job!
- Maintain visual contact. Because a drowning happens silently, it’s not enough to be in the general vicinity of your child in the water. You must be watching them at all times. This includes children who know how to swim.
- Practice “touch supervision”. When possible, get in the water with your children while they swim, and stay within arm’s reach of them. This will decrease the chances of your getting distracted and will allow you to respond quickly if they need help.
- Eliminate distraction. Know yourself. If you’re tempted to read your book or peruse your smart phone while you watch your children by the pool, leave these potential distractions in the house. Devote yourself fully to supervising. Pool time is not the time to multi-task.
Take care to supervise children outside of the pool, too. When it comes to backyard pool drownings, 85% occurred when a child fell in while playing in the pool area. This is one of many times when a pool fence would come in handy. To prevent kids from accidentally falling in, a pool fence is a very smart idea. This barrier can keep the area safe and secure. When combined with active supervision, these are the best ways to keep any children safe near the water.