orange lifejacket next to a swimming pool

Summer is in full swing, and that means you and your family are having lots of water fun! Swimming is a great way to spend those perfect sunny summer days, and your kids are the ones that will be doing so the most often. Children enjoy swimming immensely, and if you have a family pool, a cottage, or both, you’re going to want to make sure they are not only having fun but, most importantly, are safe. The team at Davina’s Swim House has put together some of the best safety tips for your cottage and family pool this summer.

 

Backyard Pool Safety

 

Stay close to children

Drowning can occur in as little as seconds, so it is very important to always remain at arms’ reach of children during pool time. Whether you are in the pool with your kids or standing outside of it, never turn your back to your kids and avoid such distractions as a ringing telephone, a social media notification, or your barbecue.

Install a 4-sided pool fence and a self-latching lock

Limit the access to the pool with a 4-sided fence and a self-latching lock that only adults can open. This will keep the kids out of the water, and make them ask when they want to go swimming. 

Keep a close eye on inflatable toys

Inflatable toys can be great fun and they might help kids stay afloat, but they can also be dangerous. Inflatables that have children sitting in them can be particularly risky because they can sometimes overturn and plunge a child underwater. Always keep an eye on children using inflatable water toys and make sure there are never too many of them in the water at once. When done using them, always take them out of the pool to avoid kids reaching for them. These are not rescue or water safety elements, make sure to have the appropriate ones at hand. 

Teach kids the rules of diving

Many head and neck injuries are caused by people diving where they shouldn’t be diving. Teach your children the proper rules of diving; rules such as never dive head first into a pool’s shallow end or never dive into an above-ground pool.

Slippery When Wet

There should be no running around the pool. Wet tiles will usually become very slippery, making it very easy to fall down either into the pool or the floor. Teach kids to always walk around the pool and get in slowly and safely. 

Keep all chemical products away from children

Cleaning your pool is important if you are going to get the most out of it this summer, but make sure to stow away all chemicals and cleaning products in a safe place out of children’s reach when you are finished.

 

For more tips on pool safety, click here

 

Cottage Water Safety

 

Control access to the water

Make sure you know all of the spots in which your children can get into the water. Unlike a pool, a lake at the cottage is full of hidden and far away entry points. It may be necessary to set up barriers in order to block certain entry spots.

Make sure lifejackets are used when on a boat

If you’re planning on taking the boat out at the cottage, make sure children are always equipped with approved high-quality lifejackets. You never know how big waves are going to be, and should one or more of your children fall out, a lifejacket is absolutely necessary. To set an example, adults should also wear lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices on a boat. 

Make sure the water is safe to swim in

Check the water your children are going to be swimming in and do your best to make sure the shallow parts where they will be standing are free of things like sharp rocks, sticks, and broken glass. Also, know your surroundings drop-offs, be aware of currents, make sure the lake water is clean and not excessively dirty, and pay attention to changing weather conditions. 

Never underestimate nature

Even on seemingly calm bodies of water, waves and currents can be unexpectedly strong. Always be aware of the water’s behaviour and if you think things are getting too rough, don’t hesitate to call it a day.

Be aware of inflatable toys

Wind and currents can quickly take you away from shore or a point of safety.  Smaller toys are easily blown away and children may chase after them, taking them too far from shore.  Also, be aware that some extra large floating toys fall into the boating laws and must have extra pieces of equipment on them.

Have a working phone at hand

Make sure your phone is nearby, charged and working while having fun in the water. You should always have the possibility to call 911 in case of an emergency.

Check water temperature

Cold Water Shock could impair a swimmer from moving in the water. Always check the water temperature before jumping in, if the water is too cold, consider more appropriate swimwear such as wetsuits, and limit the time spent in the water. 

For more tips on open water swimming, click here.

 

Keep these helpful safety tips in mind, and you and your family are sure to have a fun and safe summer! Register for year-round swim lessons, and make sure all family members feel water-confident.