Smart swimming habits start at home. The best assurance that children will follow your words of wisdom is to set an example. If you're not a swimmer, showing respect for the risks and the knowledge of experts in other situations promotes the same attitude when kids take to the water.
- Use the pool only when an adult is present. For your part, make sure the adult is trustworthy and trained for emergencies.
- No horseplay in or around the pool. Pushing, splashing and other boisterous play can get out of hand. Children (and adults) may not distinguish between squeals of delight and screams of panic.
- Get inside if a storm threatens. Water and wet swimmers draw lightning.
- Always swim with a buddy. As with adult supervision, try to make sure the buddy is not a thrill seeker who'll push companions to take risks.
- Never drink pool water. Swimmers with poor hygiene can spread disease-causing germs, some of which can survive several days -- even in properly chlorinated water.
- Don't use friends' swimsuits or gear. Again, personal items can carry harmful germs.
- Watch for stinging and biting insects. Teach children to recognize and respect wasps and bees. Also, teach them to respond calmly if a biting bug menaces by either walking away or lightly brushing it off their skin.
- Stay away from the drain. Federal law requires that all public pools be equipped with drain covers and devices or systems that protect swimmers from the powerful suction of the pool's pump (a danger called entanglement). Every new drain cover must meet a similar standard. Private pools installed before 2008 don't have to be upgraded, though.
These measures may seem to eliminate every danger. Yet there's always that one-in-a-thousand case where the safeguards fail. If a child goes missing, check the pool first. The few minutes it takes can save the life of a child and a lifetime of pain and remorse for a family.
More Great Links
- Amazon.com. "My Pool Pal Flotation Swimsuit for Infants and Toddlers." (April 6, 2010)http://www.amazon.com/My-Pool-Pal-Flotation-Swimsuit/dp/B0017LCEAU/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1270575775&sr=1-5
- American Camp Association. "Aquatic Recognized Certifications." (April 8, 2010)http://www.acacamps.org/accreditation/aquaticcert.php
- American Heart Association. "Pocket First Aid & CPR Guide." (March 30, 2010)http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3067191
- American Heart Association."What Is Family & Friends CPR Anytime?" (March 30, 2010)http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3034292
- ASTM International. "FAQs." (April 5, 2010)http://www.astm.org/FAQ/whatisastm_answers.html#anchor15
- Backyardcity.com. "Pool Safety Cover." (April 4, 2010)http://www.backyardcitypools.com/Pool-Covers-Safety.htm
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "West Nile Virus: Prevention." Feb. 25, 2010. (April 2, 2010)http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/prevention.htm
- Chesser, Amy K, et al. "Messages of Drowning Prevention: A Review of Newspaper Coverage from Midwestern Regional Papers." Kansas Journal of Medicine, 2009. (April 1, 2010)http://archie.kumc.edu/bitstream/handle/2271/763/Messages%20of%20Child%20Drowning%20Prevention-A%20review%20 of%20newspaper%20coverage%20from%20Midwestern%20regional%20papers.pdf?sequences=1
- ConsumerReports.org. "Tips for summer fun out in the sun and by the pool." May 2008. (April 5, 2010)http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babies-kids/resource-center/guide-to-childproofing-and-safety/tips-for-summer-fun-out-in-the-sun-and-by-the-pool/tips-for-summer-fun.htm
- Cook County Emergency Telephone System Board. "Public Education Efforts Continue During Summer." Answering the Call, Fall 2009. (April 3, 2010)http://www.cookcounty911.com/newsletter/2009_fall.pdf
- Hahn, Laura. "The Best Pool Alarms and Pool Gates." Good Housekeeping.com (April 5, 2010)http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/product-testing/reviews-tests/appliances-electronics/best-pool-alarm-gate
- Hilpern, Kate. "Swimming: The Ultimate Exercise." The Independent. Feb. 23, 2010. (March 30, 2010)http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/swimming-the-ultimate-exercise-1908204.html
- Houseman, Richard M. "Bees and Wasps." University of Missouri Extension. September 2005. (April 2, 2010)http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G7391
- National Institutes of Health. "Swimming Lessons Do Not Increase Drowning Risk in Young Children." March 2, 2009. (March 30, 2010)http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2009/nichd-02a.htm
- National Sporting Goods Association. "Participation in Selected Sports Activities: 2007." (March 31, 2010)http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010tables/10s1212.pdf
- PoolSafety.gov. "Title XIV -- Pool and Spa Safety (15 USC 8001)." (April 7, 2010)http://poolsafety.gov/pssa.html
- PoolSafety.gov. "Your Pool, Your Family's Safety." (March 29, 2010)http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/360.pdf
- Safe Kids USA. "Drowning Prevention Fact Sheet." (April 1, 2010)http://www.safekids.org/our-work/research/fact-sheets/drowning-prevention-fact-sheet.html
- Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. "Boating Safety Checklists." (April 5, 2010)http://www.t.gov/twra/pdfs/boatsafexlists.pdf
- University of Pittsburg Medical Center. "Swimming Lessons: When Should Your Children Start?" Feb. 2010 (March 30, 2010)http://www.upmc.com/healthatoz/pagesHealthLibrary.aspx?chunkiid=14395
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission. "Swimming Pool Safety Alert." (March 29, 2010)http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5101.pdf
- Water Quality and Health Council. "Public Health and Your Local Pool." (April 1, 2010)http://www.waterandhealth.org/newsletter/new/summer_2004/public_health.html
- Water Safety Awareness Resource Website. "Choosing a Swimming Teacher." (April 1, 2010)http://www.childrenswimming.co.za/swimming_teacher.htm