How to Prevent Child Drownings at Home

child in a swimming pool hanging on to a safety flotation device

With preparation and diligence, you can help prevent child drowning injuries in your home. Drowning prevention is a major concern for any pool owner. While our watery oasis may be the perfect retreat from the heat, offering a relaxing place to enjoy the sun, a fun place to entertain, or a personalized exercise area, it can become the site of tragedy far too quickly. It takes seconds for a drowning injury to occur, and children are naturally curious and interested in swimming pools. Lacking the judgment of experience and the physical capabilities to save themselves, in many occasions, they can quickly find themselves in danger. By making pool safety a priority, you are helping to save their lives.

Kids Love Pools

Whether they enjoy splashing around, are avid swimmers, or just like to float away their summer break, most kids jump at (or in) the opportunity to use a pool. Whether they’re your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, or friends of any of the above who are there for a pool party, if you have a pool, they want in it. Who can blame them? Pools are fun. After all, that’s why you bought one, and they usually don’t even have to worry about the upkeep and maintenance like you do.

Unfortunately, they may not understand why they need to wait until an adult is around. Older kids might feel they’re “big enough” to decide for themselves when they can go swimming. Still, others may not recognize the danger they’re in playing around a pool when they’re not intending to enter it. Twenty-three percent of child drownings occur at a family gathering around a pool. That’s why it falls to you, the pool owner, to create a safer environment for them from the start, with comprehensive safety rules, properly used pool barriers, and the supervision that helps them learn safety for themselves while still being protected.

Pool Barriers Save Lives

The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees with us, pool barriers, such as fences, are an important part of child drowning prevention. Barriers work as a Lifeguard on Duty when you can’t be there, protecting your pool from unsupervised access by kids, pets, and other adults who may be in danger. There are several types of pool barriers that can be used separately or in conjunction with each other, letting pool owners tailor their protection to fit their needs.

Removable Mesh Pool Fencing – Designed to protect your pool but offer the flexibility of removal for larger pool parties, this fencing resists climbing, has no gaps large enough to squeeze through, offers easy-to-maintain durability, and uses a self-closing, self-latching gate to secure your pool area and help prevent child drownings.

Pool Safety Nets – Safety nets can be anchored to the pool’s deck, surrounding structures, and permanent fixtures, going over and around obstacles to help you close your pool. Children and pets have trouble walking on the woven twine, often becoming stuck not far from the edge of the pool where they are held safely up and out of the water.

Swimming Pool Safety Covers – Like nets, a safety cover installed behind a removable mesh pool fence creates a powerful one-two drowning prevention combo. Covers are anchored to pool decks and can easily support the weight of a full-grown adult, blocking intentional or accidental pool access by potential drowning victims.

Whether you choose to install one barrier or create an even safer pool area by layer your protection, they are the best way to prevent child drownings even when you aren’t at home or even aware that a child may be trying to access your pool.

Get Certified To Save Lives

Education can be a powerful tool when it comes to saving lives. Most communities have either organizations or private individuals who can offer swimming classes to a wide range of ages and skill levels, either in a public setting or privately in your home’s pool. Water safety doesn’t have to stop with swimming lessons, however. 

Get certified in American Red Cross infant, shield, and adult CPR and first aid. That way you have the knowledge to handle a wide range of emergency situations that may happen in or around your pool area. In many locations, they also offer water safety and lifeguard classes that can not only help you prevent child drowning, but teach you the skills necessary to save lives under most water conditions and in most settings. Don’t forget to stock your pool area with the tools you’ll need for these newfound skills, such as first aid kits and water rescue equipment.

Make Preventing Child Drowning A Priority

One of the most important tips for child drowning prevention is to make it a priority. If you’re a parent (or a grandparent) then you know that a child’s energy is boundless. If you wait to play catch-up, you’ve already lost the race. You have to decide to get ahead of the problem by preventing child drowning from the start. That means making sure your pool area is as safe as possible and getting trained, but it’s important to get children involved in their own safety.

Set firm pool safety ground rules, enforce them consistently, and make sure the child understands the “why” behind them. This helps form good habits that will keep them safer when you aren’t around while also satisfying their natural curiosity. When guests are invited to use your pool, make sure they understand the same ground rules of safety you’ve established and that they respect them. It is far better to be seen as the “strict” parent than to have a preventable tragedy occur on your watch. Along the way, your rules may help teach others better water safety practices, saving more lives than you know. 

The First Step To Creating A Safer Pool Is Free

There’s no cost or obligation to have a safety professional help you understand your pool area’s child drowning prevention options. Schedule an appointment and your local Lifeguard on Duty installer will take measurements, talk to you about your goals, and tailor a protection plan to your pool with a written estimate that shows you just how cost-effective peace of mind can be. Take your first step to prevent child drowning and schedule a free quote with Lifeguard on Duty today.

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