Paddling Pool Safety
Swimming can be a fun affair for your children but paddling pool safety should always be the first thought. As a parent or guardian, whenever you take your children swimming whether, in your private pool or a public one, you will need to fully concentrate on your children to ensure they are safe and don’t get hurt while swimming. Water, even though useful to us humans, is very dangerous to both adults and little children with the latter being at a higher risk compared to adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 800 children die every year from drowning. Moreover, drowning is seen as the number one cause of death among children aged between 1 and three years and the number two cause of deaths among children aged 15 years and below.
Despite the alarming statistics, a survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide revealed that only 34% of parents know that water is the number one cause of death among children. Drowning is a very silent and quick occurrence. Unlike adults, children rarely fall with a huge thud due to their weight. In most case, they won’t even scream for help as they go underwater immediately they fall. Within the first two minutes of being under water, a child will lose consciousness and suffer brain damage in the four to six minutes that follow. Bad supervision is the number one reason to blame when it comes to most cases of drownings. Young children are very quick and fast. The one second that you lose focus on them to answer a call or get a towel is enough for them to stray and fall into the water. Once you know these facts, you realise the utmost importance of paddling pool safety.
Every year, the number of children who die in paddling pools continues to be on the rise with those under three years of age being the most affected. The emergency rooms in many hospitals receive cases of children drowning from their paddling pools with many ending up being hospitalised. Children who aren’t rescued in time end up dead while those who survive end up with an unending neurological impairment that tends to affect them for as long as they live.
How then can you ensure the safety of your child around paddling pools or swimming pools?
- Monitor your child when around swimming pools constantly. You need to fully supervise your child’s activity and not a random glance. If, for any reason, you must leave the pool area to ensure that you have someone monitoring them fully or leave with them.
- Be within reach whenever your child is in the swimming pool. This is a sure way to ensure no harm comes your child’s way and that you can easily rescue them in case something bad happens.
- Learn some first aid that can help you save your child in the event that they drown. Having some basic CPR knowledge can go a long way to ensuring good paddling pool safety.
- As soon as your child starts swimming, get them familiarised with water safety tips that can help them be safe around pools.
- Be very observant and keen with your child around paddling pools. As a safety measure, ensure that you drain all the water from the paddling pool after s/he has finished playing. Additionally, don’t leave the paddling pool outside for it to accumulate rain water.
- Baths, buckets, bathtubs, sinks and basins should be emptied after use to prevent your child from drowning.
- Ensure that the swimming arm bands, floats and vests that you purchase for your children meet the required standard. Moreover, when your child uses any floatation device when swimming, ensure that you are constantly monitoring them so that they don’t slip and fall into the water.
- Know where your child is at all times.
- Surround your pool with a fence and ensure that the pool is self-closing and that your child cannot reach the access to ensure they do not go in unsupervised. The space between the ground and fence should be about four inches to prevent your child from crawling inside.
- Toys and any other play item should not be left out in the pool.
It’s important to ensure that your child is dressed in the right swimming accessories whenever they are swimming. This helps keep them safe – even though not 100% – and prevents them from drowning. There are different types of accessories that you can buy from the market today. Even though the market is saturated with different products from different brands that perform the same function, it’s important to ensure that you go for quality. Your child’s life is precious, and you need to guard it by whatever means possible and with some basic preparation, by ensuring paddling pool safety, you can enjoy the experience as much as your children. Your child can use some of these accessories from a young age till they overgrow them. Below are a few swimming devices that you can buy for your child:
Arm bands should be a must have for any parent when their child is going swimming. They help your child stay afloat in water, and you can keep an eye on them. However, they may prevent your child from learning how to swim as they’ll float and it’ll restrict the use of their hands to flap the water. It’s important to use them for your young children and as they learn to swim upgrade them to something else. By keeping them afloat in the pool, it prevents cases of drowning and water intake and ensures good paddling pool safety.
Goggles can be used by both adults and children. They protect your child’s eyes when swimming whether the water has chlorine or not. Their main function is to enhance their underwater vision. There are goggles for both indoor and outdoor swimming. Goggles meant for outdoor swimming are tinted to help protect your child’s eyes from the ultra violet rays of the sun while the indoor ones give better clarity. Goggles have a rubber that goes around the head and helps with keep them intact. When buying one for your child, look for one that fits perfectly. Lose goggles that keep coming off can distract your child while swimming.
There are different types of floatation devices available. The main purpose of floats is to keep your child safe as they begin getting used to water. They come in different shapes, sizes and appearance. Depending on your choice for your child, you can choose life jackets or swim vests. They help keep your child afloat and facing up as while they swim. Alternatively, you can opt for a swim belt or a floatation belt. They are usually made from foam and fit perfectly around a child’s waist and keeps them floating in the water. When it comes to buying a floatation device, as a parent, whatever your choice, you need to ensure that it fits perfectly as buying a big one hoping your kid will grow and fit into it beats the purpose of buying it in the first place.
Depending on the area where your paddling pool is, a pair of water shoes might be a necessity. They are made in such a way that they protect the sole of your child. These could be from broken pieces of glass or rocky surfaces. Water shoes can be used even on slippery surfaces without causing your child to slip and fall. They neither absorb nor hold water and are light in weight.
Chlorine use in treating water can damage your child’s hair. Therefore, it’s important to get him or her a swimming cap. Besides preventing water from getting to their hair, it also helps keep hair away from their face which can be distractive and cause one to lose focus. Having your little one’s hair tucked in safely under a swimming cap also helps improve their visibility as they swim. Moreover, it prevents their hair from getting tangled up in and getting caught up on the pump or safety rods. Swimming caps are made from different materials and come in different colours and sizes. When buying one, ensure that it fits perfectly on your child’s head.
It’s a common thing for water to get into your lungs through your nose. Nose plugs help keep water out of your child’s nose when swimming. Chlorine water can be irritating if inhaled through the nose. Your child’s nose plugs will help them not inhale water through their nose thus reducing the irritation. Moreover, if the water in your paddling pool isn’t clean, they help prevent other objects from getting inside your child’s nose which can have adverse effects. Nose plugs seal the nose and prevent anything from going inside. Depending on which one you opt for, most nose plugs are made designed as clips which pinch the nose keeping it shit as your kid swims.
Even for an adult, water in your ears can be really irritating. Imagine the same feeling in a kid. It’s bound to make them restless and cranky. When swimming you can help your child avoid water from getting into their ears by buying them earplugs. They are usually made from very soft materials that take the shape of your child’s ear canal giving them a tight seal and help in keeping water out as they swim. Too much water in your child’s ear can cause really painful ear infections which if not treated early or continue occurring can lead to loss of hearing. Wax, silicone, foam and rubber are some of the materials most manufacturers use to make ear plugs. Ear plugs are easy to insert as they’ll require you to roll them in your finger before inserting them in your child’s ear. Ensure that you keep ear plugs out of reach for your children. Don’t let your kid handle ear plugs to prevent them from swallowing and damaging their ear canal. Most ear plugs are sold in large quantities and can also be reused.
Whether you own a large swimming pool in your backyard or a paddling pool, it is important to ensure that you have a ring buoy around. You can easily throw it into the water for your child to hold as you pull them out. Moreover, investing in a ring buoy comes in handy whether it is in the case of your toddler or adult.
Maintaining Paddling Pool Safety
All the above-mentioned products can be found on Amazon UK. However, the number one safety rule is to never leave your child unattended in any type of pool. Children will find swimming fun if they are comfortable and have the right swimming accessories to help them achieve this. Choosing the right swim device to buy for your child can be a daunting task considering there are over a thousand products in the market. Having the basic knowledge of the right products gets you as a parent one step closer to ensuring the safety of your child when they are out swimming. Even as you purchase all the necessary swim devices need, as a parent you need to have the below in mind:
Paddling pool storage
You should ensure that your paddling pool is safely kept away each time it’s not in use. Don’t leave it out in the open where it can accumulate water from the sprinkler or from the rain. As mentioned earlier, remember to drain water from it after use.
Have a phone near you
Ensure that every time you are with your children in the pool, you always have a phone near you. The faster you can call for help – dialling 911 – the higher chances you have to keep your child alive till help arrives. Not having a phone near you and lack of basic CPR can be deathly to your child if they drown.
Have a rescue equipment near you
From ring buoys to ropes, ensure you have something that you can easily throw in the water for your child to hold as you try and rescue them. If in a general pool, don’t entirely depend on life savers as their attention is always divided amongst all the kids in the pool.
Always, always have someone looking out
Never have your attention elsewhere when you are with children around the pool. Phones are very distractive. To minimise the distraction from it, try and keep it on silent mode and put all your focus on your child. If you are with several other adults with a group of children, ensure that you take turns in watching the kids as they swim. Paddling pool safety cannot be taken lightly but shouldn’t be onerous and stop the fun!