Pool & Swimming Recommendations
Source – American Academy of Pediatrics
Swimming pools are a great way for families to cool off from the hot Florida summer, but pools can be a significant hazard for small children after the fun is over.
Swimming pools can have powerful pull on little children even when it’s not swimming time. Those glistening turquoise-blue ripples may look especially inviting to an active toddler or an overly confident preschooler.
Kids can slip away from the watchful eyes of adults in seconds. It happens every day. Drowning is the second most common cause of death in children ages 1-4.
Some Pool & Swimming FACTS
Fences are the most effective, proven way to prevent the drowning of young children. Pool fencing recommendations:
- 4 feet, four sides: The pool fence should be at least 4 feet high and surround the pool, separating it from the house and the rest of the yard.
- Climb-proof. The fence shouldn’t have any footholds, handholds, or objects such as lawn furniture or the child could use to climb over the fence. Chain-link fences are straight forward to climb and are not recommended as pool fences. (If they are used, make sure openings are 13/4 inches or smaller in size)
- Slat space. To ensure a small child can’t squeeze through the fence, make sure vertical slats have no more than 4 inches of space between them. This will also help keep small pets safe, too.
- Latch height. The fence should have a self-closing and self-latching gate that only opens out, away from the pool area. The latch should be out of a child’s reach – at least 54 inches from the ground.
What Else Can Parents Do?
Parents should be prepared if their child gets into a swimming pool unseen, even with safety measures. Some precautions that may help:
- Swim lessons. The AAP recommends swim lessons as a layer of protection against drowning that can begin for many children starting at age 1.
- CPR training. Parents, caregivers, and pool owners should know CPR and how to get emergency help. Keep equipment approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, such as life preservers, and life jackets poolside.
- Check the water first. If a child is missing, look for them in the pool or spa first. This is especially important if your child is prone to wandering.
We live in Florida, where there are swimming pools everywhere. Let’s keep our youngest swimmers safe while enjoying the water and even more importantly when swim time is over!
Source – American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2019).
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