I was a wall-clutcher as a kid. You know, one of those kids in the pool who hung on the side because they couldn’t swim. But I was fascinated by swimming pools. Like most kids, I saw all that pretty blue water and I had to be in it.
I was determined that my sons would all know how to swim, especially since we had a pool. They all started swim lessons before they were a year old. We also had locked fences around the pool and the kids were not allowed to be in the pool or even the pool area without an adult.
They all became strong swimmers (two even joined the U.S. Navy), but if one was missing, the first place I ran was the swimming pool to make sure they weren’t at the bottom. (After years of wall clutching, I finally learned to swim.)
Even with all the precautions, we still had some close calls.
When they were toddlers, the boys wore swimmies, inflatable rubber tubes that fit snugly around their tummies to hold them up. When our 2-year-old fell headfirst into the pool, his swimmie held him under the water. My husband, who was standing next to him, dove in and fished him out within seconds.
Another time, my 14-year-old fished his 8-year-old cousin out. There were four adults standing next to the pool, including his parents, but none of us noticed that he had slipped under the water until my oldest son pulled him out.
Even people without pools need to know how to be safe around them. According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the No. 1 cause of death in U.S. children ages 1-4.
Here are some tips to keep everyone safe:
- Never leave a child alone around a pool.
- Designate a water watcher.
- Teach children and adults to swim.
- Teach children to stay away from pool drains.
- Make sure your pool or pools you visit have compliant drain covers.
- Put up fences, barriers, covers, or alarms on or around the pool and hot tub. Have locks for fences.
- Learn CPR and how to perform it on children and adults.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first.
- Keep pool chemicals locked and away from children.
- Have pool rules – no running on the pool deck, no playing near the drain or jets.
- No diving unless the pool is at least 8 feet deep, and then only in the deep end.
- And don’t forget the waterproof sunscreen!
By Amanda Rogers for Surepoint Medical Centers
Amanda Rogers is a freelance writer based in Fort Worth, Texas
Surepoint Emergency Center is a modern emergency medical facility open 24/7/365. As an alternative to the traditional hospital ER experience, we offer convenience and minimal wait time, along with highly-trained emergency medical staff and state-of-the-art equipment.
Bringing high-quality emergency care, quickly and easily to your family is our top priority. Committed to making patients feel better faster in a comforting and compassionate environment is what we do.
Fast convenient care in your neighborhood.