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Summer is officially in motion and filled with parties, fireworks and friends. If you’re a parent, you know keeping your kids busy during summer is the biggest challenge of the summer months. A pool is the perfect afternoon activity, especially on those hot summer Florida days and practicing pool safety will ensure a fun and successful summer. So, we offer you tips below on having the safest summer for you, your family and friends while you enjoy any swimming pool.
The biggest and most important tip is to make sure all children are supervised at all times while in the pool area. NEVER leave a child unattended in or near water. Please keep the phone and/or book at bay and watch what is happening in the pool as they swim. Setting rules for the children is the best way to maintain safety. Rules such as not climbing on each other, no hitting, no dunking, no pushing, jumping in feet first, etc. are easy ways to keep the children safe while in the pool. It has become common that if pool owners have small children, that they install pool screens that wrap around the pool. With this comes a much greater amount of safety, but many pools don’t have this feature. So, keeping an eye on all children is essential.
Second, know how to do CPR! Bystanders and/or pool owners are often the first to help a drowning victim, so learning and knowing CPR could save a life. Take a class to the learn the steps to help adults and children if something where to happen in your pool or any public swim pool. CPR classes are easily and readily available at your local community centers, hospitals or your local American Red Cross. There are also small companies throughout the US that offer classes throughout the year.
Third, bring sunblock and be sure to use it. The Florida summer sun is strong, and your skin needs to be protected. The trick if you are spending the day outside is to reapply. Applying sunscreen once and swimming for 2-3 hours, just doesn’t do the job. Try to reapply as the sunscreen bottle directs, depending the SPF level. Sun shirts and hats are also great ways to protect your skin from the sunrays.
Fourth, teach your kids how to swim. I know this may seem silly, but the basics work. If you have young children, it’s important that they are taught how to get to the side of the pool in case of an emergency. For example, toddlers are taught to swim on their backs and swim to the nearest side. This keeps them safe and makes sure that one time you look away for a quick moment, they will be ok. Also, don’t rely on water wings, pool toys and/or noodles to keep your children safe. If your child can’t swim they should be fit into a personal flotation device (PFC) and you should be in the water with them at all times.
Last, but not least, when you’re in a very crowded pool, make sure you have a buddy. The buddy system works as each ‘buddy’ keeps an eye out for each other. Knowing you have someone helping and keeping an eye out will maintain another level of safety when the crowds get larger.
If you have a pool or spa, or if you plan to spend time near one this summer, it’s very important that you are prepared and knowledgeable of the dangers and safety steps to ensure a fun time in the water this summer. Stay cool and safe this summer!