Common Swimming Pool Dangers to Avoid
One thing that almost any child enjoys is visiting the swimming pool. Swimming in water is much different than walking on land and this fun experience is extremely appealing to kids.
While most trips to the pool end without a problem, there are many swimming pool dangers that you need to be aware of and take precautions for.
With the pool, the most obvious danger is drowning. Unfortunately, this is more common than you might think and can easily happen to any child in the wrong circumstances.
What causes drowning is not always obvious. Things as innocent as friendly play or children’s pool toys can cause serious harm and affect a child’s ability to stay above the water.Other swimming pool dangers tend to be more common. We’ll take a look at these hazards below to help keep your child safe in the water!
Lack of Supervision
To start, a lack of supervision is a major swimming pool safety hazard.
Swimming alone is very dangerous, even for experienced swimmers. Anyone is at risk for drowning any time they are near or in the water because one small mistake is all it takes to inhale water and become disoriented.
Children are at a greater risk for this for two reasons.
First, their age means that they don’t have much experience swimming. They just won’t have the wisdom of an adult swimmer who’s lived and swam for longer.
The exception to this is children that have been through swimming lessons and have solid swimming skills. Kids that have swimming lessons are significantly less likely to drown, but they are still not invulnerable.
The other problem here is that children have underdeveloped brains and make silly choices. This results in behavior like running around the pool or trying to swim in deeper waters than they can handle.
Supervision addresses both of these concerns because it allows you or whoever is watching them to stop dangerous behavior (and discourage it with your presence) and rescue them if something goes wrong. As a result, no supervision leaves your child exposed.
Unsecured swimming pools also pose a significant safety concern.
Swimming can be extremely enticing and this may make your child swim when they shouldn’t. This is particularly relevant when you have a pool in your backyard.
Having a pool is an awesome luxury, but it’s also a drowning hazard if it isn’t kept under locks. Open pools leave the risk for a child to fall in or swim at their leisure. If unsupervised, they will have nobody to rescue them if they need assistance.
With this in mind, swimming pool covers are a must. Make sure they can’t be easily removed because this may encourage swimming in a partially covered pool. This is incredibly dangerous because your child may get trapped under the cover.
With a covered pool, you can ensure that your child will only be in the water when you’re able to watch them.
Reliance on Floatation Devices
A surprising pool danger involves a reliance on floatation devices. Floaties are meant to help your child stay afloat and prevent drowning, but they do not always have the desired effect.
In particular, there are two primary issues with floatation devices.
First, floaties are simple to misuse and this leaves a child unprotected. The best example of this is arm floaties, which slide off extremely easily. As you can imagine, this results in your child slipping into the water without assistance.
Second, floaties instill bad habits into your child. They may never properly learn how to swim or stay afloat because a floatie always did it for them. Their reliance will mean that they don’t have the necessary skills when they don’t have a floatie to help them.Floaties can certainly be helpful, but they are a temporary solution. You’re much better off ensuring that your child learns how to swim without them.
Horseplay and Recklessness
Another common cause of swimming pool injuries is horseplay and general recklessness.
The problem with horseplay and recklessness is that they both inherently disregard safety. Horseplay is about having fun and attempting to best who you’re playing with. Recklessness implies that your child acts without a single concern for their safety.
Good examples of dangerous behaviors to avoid include running around the pool, diving into shallow water, wrestling in the water, excessive splashing, and failing to consider other swimmers.
It can be hard to get a child to play safely when they’re excited, but water is a serious hazard that must be respected. They can certainly enjoy themselves, but they must know to avoid horseplay and being reckless if they want to continue having a good time.
Lastly, waterborne illnesses can also be a swimming pool hazard.
While these are less common, they still have a significant impact. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prevent waterborne illnesses due to their invisible nature.
While you can’t know a pool is dangerous beforehand, you can look for warning signs. Good indicators of a dangerous pool include being dirty, cloudy, or smelly.
Better yet, evaluate the swimming pool’s cleanliness as a whole to gauge how safe the water will be. Dirty swimming pool plazas indicate that the facilities are poorly maintained, meaning the water is likely unsafe as well.Hotels tend to pose the greatest risk for contracting a waterborne illness. Exercise extra caution on vacation and don’t risk swimming in any waters that aren’t pristine.
Swimming is an excellent way for your children to get exercise and let loose. However, swimming pools and beaches are a significant safety concern because drowning is deceptively easy and often silent.
With this in mind, you must protect your little one by understanding the dangers of swimming pools. This includes a lack of supervision, unsecured pools, a reliance on floatation devices, horseplay and recklessness, and waterborne illnesses.
Water safety is important to remember at the swimming pool, but it doesn’t have to be a chore! Find a way to make your child appreciate swimming safely and consider rewarding good behavior to instill good water safety habits!