Be Diligent about Pool Safety
Young children need continuous supervision near water; a child can drown in as little as a few inches of water in a five-gallon bucket as well as in a swimming pool. Swimming lessons, pool barriers, and safety locks are important safeguards, but nothing can replace adult supervision. These safety tips from the AAP can help your family have a safe summer in the pool:
- Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
- Install a fence at least four-foot high around all four sides of the pool.
- Make sure pool gates self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.
- Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd's hook—a long pole with a hook on the end—and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool.
- Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as "floaties." They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
- Children are not developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthdays. Swim programs for children under four should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."