Stay Safe in the Water This Holiday Season
The holidays are a time for family, friends and loads of laughter. They are also a time when families are busy and can be easily distracted, leaving little ones to do what little ones do best – be curious and explore.
Even the best of parents can lose sight of his or her child on the best of days. Unfortunately, mere seconds of inattention can lead to a lifetime of regret. Keep the memories of this holiday season merry and bright by preventing the possibility for dangerous situations with these pool safety tips below:
1. Fence and Lock Up Your Pool
A pool safety fence is your number one defense against drowning. A properly installed fence with a self-latching and self-closing gate will keep your youngest holiday guests from entering into your pool area unannounced.
Pool safety fences come in many different shapes, materials and dimensions. When exploring your options, here’s what you should keep in mind:
- The fence must be a minimum of 48 inches tall
- The mid-rail should be designed to be at least 45 inches above the bottom fence rail
- Spacing between pickets should be no more than 4 inches
- The space between the bottom fence rail and the pool deck must be below 4 inches
- The gate to the pool must open out and away from your backyard pool
- The gate’s opening mechanism must be at least 54 inches above the ground
2. Establish Pool Rules
Even the youngest of children will benefit from you laying down some pool safety rules this holiday season.
If children are going to be allowed in the pool, make it clear that there must be an attentive adult supervisor present and watching at all times. Should children be allowed to enter the pool, establish a protocol among the adults in your party to ensure that someone is out there and watching the children at all times, such as having designated adults wear a Water Guardian tag.
If children are not going to be allowed in the pool, make it clear that the pool area is, without question, off-limits. This means not entering the area to retrieve items that make their way over the fence, entering the area for hiding spots while playing hide and seek, and other situations.
3. Invest in a Sturdy Safety Cover
Crafted from either woven mesh or solid vinyl, pool safety covers are secured to the pool deck through a series of straps and anchors. These covers go a long way in adding a much needed extra layer of protection, keeping kids, pets, wildlife and other backyard guests out of an unsupervised pool.
4. Have Flotation Devices Readily Accessible
The well recognized old-fashioned lifesaver is a great device to have in the pool area as most kids can easily distinguish this item as a life-saving flotation device. Failing that, be sure to direct swimmers to other flotation or drown-prevention devices including other floating items (pool noodles, floating mats, etc.) and reaching devices (poles, oars, or even thick tree branches), which should only be used as an emergency.
5. Maintain Your Child’s Swim Skills
Think a pool party may be included with your holiday plans this year? Keep your child enrolled in his or her regular swimming lessons.
Continuity is key when it comes to building on your child’s swimming skills. By regularly attending swimming lessons during both the “on” and “off” season, your child is able to continually build his or her strength, endurance and swim abilities all year round.
Texas Swim Academy provides annual swimming lessons as well as a swim club so that youngsters can continue to explore and learn how they can keep themselves safe while having fun near and inside the pool. For more information on our programs for all ages, we welcome you to contact us at (832) 437-6186.
SWIM SCHOOL IN KATY
Texas Swim Academy is a state-of-the-art swimming facility offering water safety, survival swim, and kids swimming lessons in Katy, Texas. Owners Kathleen and Bruce McMordie, alongside our certified staff, help parents introduce children to water at an early age through the Infant Survival Swim Program, teaching life-saving techniques and basic swimming skills.
Our Stroke Development Program offers six different levels to help students progress in their swimming skills at his or her own pace. Our Adaptive Aquatics Program was created specifically for children with special abilities. Find swimming class registration information here. By subscribing to Texas Swim Academy’s blog, you can stay current on valuable water safety resources such as survival swim, health and wellness, Texas Swim Academy news and more. Follow our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages for even more news, updates, and tips!