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Be Swim-Savvy! Tips on Pool Safety for Toddlers

The summertime is swimming pool time! And while it’s fun to have a splash around with the family, getting exercise whilst having a laugh and staying cool, it only takes a second for things to go wrong if pool safety isn’t observed properly. Toddlers especially may be all too eager to get into the water and need a more careful eye. Stay vigilant this summer and have a blast in the pool while ensuring the youngest family members stay safe with these tips.

Have safety fencing

Have your own pool? Whether it is in- or above-ground, a safety fence is an absolute must. It is a sad reality that most drownings for toddlers occur at the home swimming pool. The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a four-sided isolation fence with a lock that separates the pool area from the home and rest of the yard, so kids can still lay outside safely without the worry of anyone accessing the pool area.

Explain the basics of pool safety

Even though it may seem pointless to many, it is always a good idea to teach your toddler the basics of pool safety. This includes no running around the pool, explaining that they could fall into the pool, or slip and hurt themselves. Remind them that they should never go near the pool without an adult, and show them how to reach for something to hold onto, just in case, such as a pool noodle or rope, or even how to grasp the edge of the pool. Always remind them of how to stay safe and be an example too.

Never let your toddler in the water without you

It may seem enough to always keep an eye on your little one while they splash around in the shallow area, but as mentioned before, it only takes a second for something to go wrong. Drowning can occur in less than two inches of water, so always be close to your child whilst in the pool itself. It is recommended that kids aged five and younger should always be at arm’s length and never further.

Have dedicated pool time

This means staying focused on the swimming pool and nothing else. Keep the cell phones inside, so you’re not distracted to answer it. If you’re expecting visitors, if possible, tell them to meet you in the backyard rather than at the front door, where you’ll have to get out and leave the pool area to answer it.

Visit public pools when a lifeguard is on duty

Not all public pools have a lifeguard, but if they do, it is always best to attend when they’re on duty. This is an extra pair of eyes to watch over kids in the pool. However, see it as just that – an extra pair of eyes. There are a lot of people to be keeping an eye on, so while they’re the expert, it doesn’t mean they can watch your child the whole time.

Don’t dunk!

It seems like a way of getting kids accustomed to the water for some parents, but in reality, dunking can be very scary and make kids afraid of swimming. It can also cause them to swallow a lot of water.

Take a CPR/First Aid course

Of course, we hope that the need to use this never arises, but it is never a bad idea to take a CPR or First Aid course. It might help save a life. A local Red Cross or YMCA may offer classes, so have a look and register. They will show you the signs of distress and drowning and what steps to take in these crucial moments.

Adhering to these safety tips will also help your toddler be confident about swimming, which will help them develop vital swimming skills in the future. These safety tips will keep everyone having fun this summer without fear. We hope you have a great time splashing about with the young ones!


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