The summer season is here. You and your charge are thinking about unwinding and enjoying the warm weather with a splash in the pool. However, pools are one of the common places where tragic accidents occur.
In 2018, at least 148 children under the age of 15 fatally drowned in swimming pools or spas. Kids who stay underwater for four to six minutes may have irreversible brain damage. While there is no single safety device that will completely childproof your trip to the pool, several types of protective measures can effectively prevent accidents.
Do not run
The most critical pool safety rule is to never run near a swimming pool. Wet concrete can be very slippery and may cause severe or fatal injuries. Nannies should always accompany young charges and teach them how to walk around the pool safely.
Obeying pool rules
Public pools have different rules. Some require visitors to wear swimming attire. Others forbid toys in the pool. Caregivers are encouraged to be mindful about which toys and flotation devices they allow their charges to bring. Additionally, it is advised to avoid letting kids play near pool drains or jets (which can suck in hair or jewellery).
Follow diving rules
Teaching children to avoid diving in shallow areas will save them from injuries that could have a lifetime of consequences. Nannies who take care of little swimmers should teach them only also to avoid aboveground pools.
Drowning accidents can happen when young children play rough in the pool. Remind young charges to avoid jumping on other people in the pool or holding anyone underwater to prevent accidents.
Inspect pool drains and covers
Nannies working with a family that owns a pool should always check the pool’s drains and drain covers. The drains can create an underwater suction may be strong enough to trap even strong swimmers. Many children have suffered physical injuries from broken drains.
Learn how to respond to emergencies
Keeping emergency kits and tools near pools can help make a difference. These items should include a portable phone, a First Aid kit, a flotation device, and a pair of scissors. Additionally, nannies should know how to perform CPR on children and adults. Nannies should also be First Aid qualified if at all possible (book a course with St John's Ambulance here).
Install a pool fence
Families that own a pool should also consider installing pool fences. The barriers prevent curious children from getting into the pool unsupervised. While specific recommendations largely depend on the type of pool you have, local regulations recommend building a fence that is at least four feet high.
When choosing the style of the barrier, ensure that the spaces in the fence are no more than four inches apart. A wide enough space may allow small children to squeeze through.
Take swimming lessons
Enrolling children to swimming classes can help reduce the risk of drowning. Babies over the age of one can be taught necessary swimming skills, including floating on their backs. Classes also provide caregivers an opportunity to introduce their charges to good water safety habits.
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