Growing up, my favorite summer activity was swimming. My parents said I couldn’t be bothered to change into a swimsuit most days; swimming in my underwear was a regular occurrence. I grew up with a pool and learned to swim early on, always assuming when I had my own home that I would have a pool as my parents did.
many a few years (my six year old thinks I’m 25 so we’ll go with it), and we are enjoying our first summer with a pool. The six year old can swim well, diving and learning the breast stroke. My three year old; however, is still using a life vest and just getting more comfortable in the water on his own. When we finished the pool, I was suddenly thinking of all that could go wrong with one and how we would ensure our kids safety. My husband and I researched a lot, talked with our pool builder and have implemented some measures to ensure swimming pool safety.
We read a lot of reviews, talked with other pool owners and compared options before deciding on alarms. We settled on pool alarms for the doors, which sound LOUDLY (110 dB) if opened without pressing the bypass button. My kids have opened it and run screaming to their rooms, so suffice to say we think it works. There are also alarms for the pool itself that will sound if anything breaks the water’s surface. You may also consider a fence around the perimeter of the pool.
Even if he isn’t swimming, we make my three-year-old wear an approved life vest when in our backyard. Unlike a puddle jumper, it will keep their head above water in case they panic. I can also easily grab him from the handle if needed. Plus, it doesn’t hinder him using his arms, so he is actively ‘pulling the water’ with it on. I’m hoping after lessons he’ll be swimming without it, but I’m happy to have it.
I recently read that a child is more likely to drown in a pool when there are MORE adults present versus one or two. My husband and I are vigilant when watching the kids, communicating if one of us needs to step away for a moment. Think of it like your system for a parade: assign an adult to certain kids so there is no question of who is watching who.
Enlist extra help
When hosting a pool party, consider hiring a lifeguard. We hosted a party a few weeks ago and it really eased my mind to have one. I knew there would be a lot of kids, some whom I didn’t know extremely well, and my husband suggested the lifeguard. I can tell you it was well worth it! One of the kids got excited upon arrival, jumped in and panicked. Our lifeguard jumped in and swiftly pulled him out. Worth. every. penny.
My oldest did swimming lessons for two summers, along with being in the pool at my parents’ house quite a bit. My youngest will go for the first time this summer, along with plenty of time honing his skills at home. While I taught swimming lessons, my kids seem to respond better to someone else; so we intend to do both. Basic water skills are crucial, especially if you own a pool. Check out this post for swimming lesson locations near you.