Building confident swimmers, one splash at a time!
Ah, finally, it’s that glorious time of year to open your backyard pool! With the hot summer heat and all the fun and splashing, it can be easy to forget some of the safety concerns that go along with swimming. We’ve put together a list of (5) helpful tips and things to remember when it comes to ensuring your summer is not only fun, but also as safe as can be.
1. Pool Rules
Take some time to talk to the family about your household pool rules. It is important that everyone is clear on what is and is not acceptable around the pool. Some of our recommended rules are:
- No swimming without an adult actively watching (no phones out!)
- If a parent or caregiver is not in the pool then the child must wear a PFD (best for young children or those that cannot confidently swim 2 full lengths of your pool)
- Apply sunblock 30 minutes before swimming and re-apply often
- Take a break from swimming at least once every hour (often kids get distracted with how much fun they’re having and fail to realize how tired they are getting!)
- No jumping/diving in shallow areas
- No horse play i.e. chicken fights or dunking
2. Hire a Lifeguard
Backyard barbecues, birthday parties, and playdates all can be made much more fun when hanging around the pool. These types of events, however, are quite distracting for those who are supervising, having many people around the pool makes it difficult to keep an eye on everyone. We recommend planning ahead for these events and hiring a lifeguard that can come to you and provide exceptional supervision of your pool.
3. Make sure your children have the appropriate skills
Make sure that all of the swimmers that enter your pool that they can swim at least 2 lengths of your pool. If they are not comfortable with that they should either wear a PFD or stay in a shallow area with an adult in the water with them.
Sign your child up for swimming lessons! At Davina’s Swim House, we teach lifesaving skills. The youngest swimmers should learns turning over and floating, grabbing the wall and climbing out, and how to properly wear a lifejacket. Older swimmers learn skills to increase their endurance and how to ensure themselves and friends are acting safely around the pool. Knowing your children have the knowledge and ability to help themselves to safety will give you added piece of mind during the summer months in your backyard.
4. Provide Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s)
Take the time before the summer gets into full swing to make sure your children’s lifejackets are certified, well-fitting PFD’s. Don’t have one yet? Now is a great time to take your children out and have them pick their favorite color and try on lifejackets at the store. To check if your PFD fits properly, first do up all zippers and buckles, then place your index fingers underneath the shoulder and tug upward. If the PFD comes up past your child’s ears, then it is too large. A properly fitting PFD will:
- Will not come up past the ears
- Will allow your child to fall well within the recommended weight range
- will feel comfortable
5. Have the right equipment available
It is not required for backyard pools to have certain types of equipment, but it is always a good idea to make sure your pool has some sort of reaching device and a throw buoy. You can make sure even your non-swimmers in the family are aware of how to use them properly. Always have a phone nearby for an emergency situation.