Friday, July 03, 2009

Keep Kids Safe Around the Pool

When it comes to pools, kids generally love to dive right in. While parents enjoy the smiles on kids' faces as they laugh and lap it up in the backyard pool, it's important for parents to emphasize safety when kids are around the pool. To do just that, consider the following tips, courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

* Be especially vigilant with younger children. The AAP emphasizes that parents need to be especially careful with children younger than 5 years, recommending that kids that young are always within arm's length when in or around the pool.

* Keep rescue equipment and a telephone nearby. In case of an emergency, be sure to keep a first aid kit and rescue equipment within reaching distance of the pool. Also, should you need to call 911, have a phone within reach and make sure older kids bring a phone out when swimming unsupervised.

* Remove toys from the pool when no one is swimming. Leaving toys in the pool when no one is swimming could entice children to reach for them or jump back into the water to get them. Both of these scenarios could prove very dangerous, so be sure to remove all toys from the pool when everyone has finished swimming.

* Erect a fence around the pool. Many communities have laws mandating all pools be fenced in. For those that don't, it's still a great way to ensure kids don't wander into the pool area and fall into the pool. The AAP recommends gates that self-close and self-latch, and preferably a fence where the latch is higher than a child's reach.

* Don't leave kids alone. Even if it's only for a minute, children should never be left alone when in or near a pool. Adults who know CPR should be around kids whenever they're near a pool. If the phone rings or something else forces you inside, make the kids leave the pool and the pool area before proceeding.

* Cover the pool when not in use. Even if your pool is fenced in, a pool cover can be a great safety valve to keep curious kids from falling into an unattended pool. While this won't entirely prevent drowning, it can lessen its likelihood.


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