Reducing The Risk Of Childhood Drowning: Pool Safety

By August 19, 2015Blog


In this two-part series, “Reducing The Risk Of Childhood Drowning,” we explore tips for keeping your children safe around the water. With the beautiful weather in Southern California, our children are often exposed to the water year-round. This week, we discuss how to reduce the risk of drowning at the pool.  

Last week, five OC children were involved in near-drowning incidents across the county. According to the Orange County Register, three of the incidents happened at pools and two were ocean-related. Four of the children were under the age of five.

Drowning is every parent’s fear when bringing his or her child around water. While there is no way to eliminate the risk completely, some essential safety tips can help to keep your children safe.

Tips For Reducing The Risk Of Drowning At The Pool

Pools can often provide a sense of safety in comparison to the ocean. Safety gates, crystal clear water, and a buzz of people sitting around can provide a false sense of security; many feel as though someone would notice a child in trouble.   Unfortunately, this is often not the case.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind around the pool:

  • Always be alert. Taking your eyes off children even for a minute can be the difference between life and death. If the pool is a social setting, pair up with another set of parents to take turns interacting with and closely monitoring the children in the water. An adult should be monitoring children in the water at all times, without multi-tasking.
  • Be in arms reach. If children are not fully competent in the water, an adult should be in the water with them. This is essential even if the child is wearing a water flotation device.
  • Talk with children in the water. Drowning children cannot speak. By talking with your children while they play and listening for their playful noises, you are helping to ensure their safety.
  • Equip less experienced swimmers. When outside of the pool, inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Note that this isn’t a replacement for supervision, but an added safety precaution in case the child falls into the pool. Some floatation devices can actually be more dangerous than helpful for children, so talk with us about our recommendations.
  • Don’t rely solely on lifeguards. Attending a swimming pool equipped with a lifeguard adds a significant layer of safety, but lifeguards are monitoring a pool full of people. Mistakes can happen. It is always your responsibility to supervise your children.
  • Teach children how to swim. The best way to protect your child is to teach him or her to swim and be comfortable in the water as early as possible. By improving a child’s swimming skills, you provide them with the most essential layer of protection. Swim lessons offer much more than a fun time in the pool.

In nearly all of the near-drowning incidents from last week, the parents talked about being distracted for just a short time. Child drowning happens quickly and silently. Read our blog on Recognizing the Quiet Signs of Drowning to dispel common myths about drowning.

Consult Your Community Swim Experts

Premier Aquatics Services provides our local community with first aid training, water safety trainings, and swim lesson programs. We are currently enrolling all age groups in our fall swim programs. Click here to learn more about the Premier Aquatic’s year-round swim lesson programs.

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Click here to continue with Part 2: Ocean Safety