Adults should ACTIVELY watch their children at all times while in the pool. To actively watch your children means to watch them free from distraction. Distractions include such things as phone calls, magazines, alcohol, and socializing. For children under the age of 5, adults or individuals age 16 or older should be within arm's length of the child at all times, providing touch supervision. Also, the adult or older teen watching the children should know how to swim.
Another important safety tip for pool play is having a set of rules that you enforce for your family and friends. Rules such as:
-Keep toys away from the pool when no one is playing in the pool.
-Empty blow up pools after each use.
-No bikes or other riding toys allowed near pools.
-No electrical appliances near the pool.
-No diving in a pool that is not deep enough.
-No running on the pool deck.
-When pool is not in use, have a gated fence or for above ground pools, remove steps or ladders so that children have no access.
Lastly, swimming lessons are VERY important. If you live near natural bodies of water and pools or are often exposed to them, it is essential to get swimming lessons for the whole family, especially the children. However, remember that all children learn and develop at their own rate. So, when preparing to put them into lessons, take into consideration how much they've been exposed to water, their maturity, physical limitations and health concerns. They will eventually learn to swim at their own rate!
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