Summer Pool Safety Tips for Community Pools
Are you the parent of a child who likes to swim? If you are and if you aren’t a pool owner, your child will likely use your community pool. Community pool are a dream for many parents and children. They are an easy and free way to have fun and cool off during the hot summer. With that said, remember that community pools have the potential to be dangerous, just as residential pools do.
Before your first pool visit, it is important to discuss pool safety with your child or children. Make it known that running around the pool is not allowed. If your child cannot swim, make sure they stay near you. In fact, you may want to jump right in the pool with them.
As for when you arrive at the community pool, never leave your child unattended. For infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, you should be right in the water with them. In fact, you should hold onto them at all times. The same approach can and should be taken for young elementary school aged children who do not know how to swim. Even those who have had swimming lessons still need to be monitored, even in a community pool.
Speaking of monitoring, most community pools are equipped with trained lifeguards. There are typically two or three lifeguards on staff at all times. This does not, however, replace the supervision that is required of you. Remember that community pools are popular during the summertime. It may be common to see anywhere from twenty to fifty kids inside. Yes, lifeguards are trained to handle these numbers and respond when danger strikes, but don’t rely on a lifeguard to be the sole lifesaver of your child in a community pool.
It is also recommend that you keep your child in the shallow end if they are not a strong swimmer. In fact, they may be required to stay there. For safety and liability reasons, most swimmers must first pass a swim test to enter into the deep end. Before getting in the pool with your child, show them where the deep end of the pool starts.
As previously mentioned, community pools are very popular during the summertime. This is not only the chance for your child to stay cool in the heat, but it also gives them the opportunity to have fun and make new friends. Be sure to use your best judgment. If the pool is overcrowded, it may be wise to enter the water with your child, even if they can swim. At the very least, encourage them to stay in a less populated area of the shallow water. Roughhousing in the pool may look fun, but it can also be very dangerous.
As it was previously stated, you should be in the water at all times with small children who don’t know how to swim. This is important as many community pools have restrictions on the use of floatation devices. For example, it is common to see arm floaties prohibited from use. Often times, the only flotation devices allowed are those that are approved by the United States Coast Guard and permission may be required.
What is nice about community swimming pools, aside from allowing those without pool access to cool down during the summer time is that they usually offer more than just open swim. During your next visit, ask a lifeguard if swim lessons are offered. Many community pools are closed to the public during the early morning hours for swim lessons. Consider signing your child up. These lessons may be very affordable, especially when compared to private lessons.
If you decide to take you child or children swimming in your community pool this summer, remember that safety is key. Always keep a watchful eye on your children and keep them educated on the subject of pool safety. When you do so, they can enjoy swimming pools as they were intended to be fun and safe.