It is summer time and we all enjoy a swim in a pool or relaxing with friends in the jacuzzi. While these summer pass-times are fun, they also need to be safe. Young children can drown in swimming pools, hot tubs and jacuzzi’s very quickly. We always need to be vigilant with small children around water. Below is a set of safety tips to help you keep your small children safe around water.
Safety in the Swimming Pool
- All pool owners should be trained how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) in case of a drowning emergency.
- If a child is missing, look immediately in the pool. Every second counts in drowning accidents.
- Never let your child swim without an adult present.
- Always have your child wear a life jacket when swimming or boating.
- Remove toys from the pool when they are not in use. Young children attracted to the toys can fall in when reaching for them.
- Any doors leading from the house to the pool should be locked so that small children cannot get outside without you knowing.
- Install a pool safety cover for when the pool isn’t in use. This will prevent animals and children getting access to the water when you don’t want them to.
- Above-ground pools that aren’t in use should be inaccessible. Secure steps and ladders to prevent an unsupervised child from climbing into the pool.
- Install fences and walls around the entire pool. Fences should be at least 1.2 m high. Latches should be out of a young child’s reach.
Safety in the Jacuzzi or hot tub
Jacuzzi’s and hot tubs are often overlooked as a drowning danger for children. Drowning can result from unintentional falls into the water, from hair that becomes tangled in drains or jets, or from body parts becoming trapped.
Consider keeping jacuzzis and hot tubs off-limits to young children. If you allow children in the jacuzzi or hot tub, prevent a drowning incident by taking proper precautions and talking to your children about potential hazards. Below are some safety tips to keep young children safe in the jacuzzi.
- Closely supervise children around a Jacuzzi or hot tub and have a phone nearby to call for help in an emergency.
- Don’t allow underwater play in a jacuzzi. Jacuzzi’s have spa jets and drains that can suck hair in, trapping a child underwater. Explain to children that jacuzzi’s and hot tubs aren’t swimming pools or places for active play.
- Know where the pump cutoff switch is located so that it can be turned off in an emergency.
- Keep the jacuzzi or hot tub covered when it is not in use. If a drain cover is missing or broken, shut down the spa until the drain cover is repaired or replaced.
- Don’t allow the water temperature to exceed 40°C in jacuzzi’s and tubs and spas. Drowning has occurred from extremely hot water, which can cause drowsiness and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is another danger.
Enjoy your family time outside this summer, but don’t let the fun turn into tragedy due to accidental drowning. Remain vigilant when young children are around water, and everyone will enjoy the water and stay safe.