Swimming pools can be a magnet for children, whether it’s splash time or not. The water is simply inviting, but an unsupervised, active or especially confident child is inviting danger getting in or near a swimming pool when adults are not around. A child can drown in seconds, and each year, there are hundreds of swimming pool drownings. Children can be kept safe around the pool if adults are vigilant and cautious. Here are some ideas that can foster pool safety and protect children.

Never Leave Child Unsupervised

A child left alone around the pool is a child in danger. Don’t let your guard down thinking that your child has the swimming skills to be safe alone. All it takes is a slip, and it’s a disaster. Forget about leaving for a quick minute to run in the house because a few seconds is too long, much less a minute. Assume the role of a lifeguard and be ever present and aware of your child’s activities.

Don’t Ignore Pool Fences

This is perhaps of the most effective and proven precaution in preventing the drowning of children. Some things to consider when getting a pool fence includes, ensuring that it is at least 4 feet in height and that it surrounds the pool entirely, climb-proof, the vertical slat space is not above 4 inches, the latch is out of children’s reach and the gate is locked when not in use. According to healthychildren.org, the latch should be at least 54 inches from the ground out of a child’s reach. Children are prone to wandering off without parent realizing it until some time after. They could fall into the pool during that period.

Keep Rescue Gear Close

Having rescue gear by the swimming pool is convenient and could mean the difference between life and death if an accident occurs. There is specific rescue equipment that is vital including, ring buoy, backboard, first aid kit, shepherd’s hook, and rescue tube. Be aware of the pool equipment code requirements in your location and keep in mind that the rescue equipment should be used by someone who is equipped with the know-how.

Keep Children Close

Do not neglect to have your child within arm’s reach when in or around the pool. You’ll keep your child out of danger and limit any accidents that could have life-altering consequences or lead to death. Practice the “touch supervision,” which, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics is when an adult is within arm’s length to reach out and touch their child continuously.

Pool safety should not be taken lightly, especially when dealing with children. Supervised or unsupervised, child drownings can occur within a short space of time. Keep kids close at all times, but be sure to have an even closer eye on them when around the pool.