Backyard pools are experiencing a surge in popularity because of the Coronavirus, with some pool store owners reporting as many as three times as many calls this season as compared to last year.
Whether you spend $25 on an inflatable pool that's just a few inches deep or $25,000 on an in-ground pool, it's important to keep safety in mind.
After all, drowning in swimming pools is the leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1 to 4, according to a Safe Kids Worldwide report.
And where do many of those deaths occur? Backyard pools.
So how can you keep your kids safe around backyard pools this summer?
Here are seven things to remember:
1. ALWAYS supervise.
Most people think of drowning as noisy — lots of splashing and yelling for help. But actually, the opposite is true. Drowning often happens quickly and silently. That means all children should have an adult's eyes on them at all times when they are in the water. Children under the age of 4 should always be supervised at arm's length, even if they can swim.
2. Air-filled and foam toys are not safety devices.
The CDC warns that floaties, water wings, inner tubes, pool noodles, and other common pool accessories and toys are not alternatives to adult supervision or a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. According to the CDC's drowning statistics report, “These toys… are not designed to keep swimmers safe.”
3. Install fencing.
The CDC advises all pools be fenced and that fences should be at least 4 feet high. All gates should be self-closing, open outward, and have self-latches that are out of reach of children. The CDC also suggests considering additional barriers such as an alarm that is activated when someone enters the pool area. Using a small inflatable pool? Make sure the pool is emptied completely after each use.
4. Remove toys from the pool and deck when not in use.
Kids can unintentionally fall into a pool when trying to retrieve a ball or toy. The CDC says removing those toys can take away a child’s temptation to try to enter the pool area unsupervised.
5. Enroll children in formal swim lessons.
While even the best swimmers should still always be supervised in the water, participating in formal swim lessons can reduce the likelihood of childhood drowning death by 88 percent, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
SafeSplash Castle Rock, SafeSplash Lone Tree/Parker, and SwimLabs Highlands Ranch are currently offering limited private and semi-private lessons as well as summer SwimJams sessions to help get kiddos back in the pool.
6. Kids can drown in ANY water and on anyone's property.
Consider safety whether you have an in-ground pool, a small kiddie pool from the store, or a bucket collecting rainwater. Have water safety discussions with relatives, caregivers, and neighbors. Kids ages 5 to 9 who drowned in a pool between 2005 and 2014 were equally likely to drown at a home other than their own, so it's an important conversation to have.
7. Learn CPR.
Knowing CPR can save a life. Your local recreation center or hospital is a good place to find a class. You can also find online CPR courses on the American Red Cross site.
You can feel good about enjoying the hot days of this summer in a cool backyard pool by taking precautions and always keeping kids' safety top of mind.
Why SafeSplash and SwimLabs?
SafeSplash Swim Schools in Castle Rock and Lone Tree/Parker and SwimLabs Highlands Ranch provide year-round swim instruction and stroke technique refinement starting from Parent-Tot classes. We offer a fun, safe environment complete with warm water pools, climate-controlled viewing areas, and family-friendly changing rooms.
Our highly trained and qualified instructors will take your little fish learning bubbles to butterfly. We offer a positive, fun experience with the ultimate goal of helping our swimmers become safe, happy, confident, lifelong swimmers. We offer unparalleled customer service, family first convenience, individual attention, passionate instructors, cutting-edge curriculum, and exceptional value.
Call us today and see what makes us different!