Making sure your kids are safe and happy are the goals of every parent. That's why it is important to be extra cautious and prepared when you have a pool or take your kids swimming. We have gathered the essentials for you to keep your kids safe in and around water.
General Rules and Tips
- Adult Supervision. Make sure there is always adult supervision when your children are swimming. The adult must be able to swim. If a baby or toddler is swimming, the adult needs to be in the pool and within an arm's length from the little one. If the children are older then the adult can be outside the pool but must be focused - this means no distractions or alcohol consumption.
- Teach kids the dangers of swimming alone. Make sure your children know why it isn't safe for them to be by themselves near the pool so that they don't think you're keeping them away from the fun.
- No running or cycling around the pool. It is easier for children to slip into the pool as well as injure themselves.
- No toys left near the pool when swimming is over. This is because kids will want to return to get the toys by themselves.
- Check the depth of the pool. Don't allow your children to dive into any body of water unless you know that it is deeper enough.
- No electronics near the pool. This will prevent any electrocution threats.
- Water Wings, etc. Make sure that your kids are wearing water wings or something similar if they are not confident swimmers.
Kids are small and perfect escape artists. They can scale walls and climb through doggy doors so it is important that your pool is securely fenced and impossible for your kids to infiltrate alone.
- Surround the whole pool. Make sure that the fence has no gaps that would allow children to enter.
- Make sure it is high enough. A pool fence should be at least 1.2 metres high.
- Make sure it is climb resistant. This means that there must be no footholds allowing for children to climb the fence. There should be no horizontal slats. Make sure that nothing like a table or tree is near or pushed against the fence to make it easier to climb.
- The gate must be self-locking. Make sure your pool gate is well looked after and that it self-locks. It should open away from the pool. Make sure that the latch is higher than your children can reach.
Making sure your kids can swim should be of the highest priority. Children can usually start swim lessons at 4 years old but may start earlier if they're ready. Below are some local Cape Town swimming schools we recommend.
Rescuing a Potential Drowning Victim
Take a look at this handy video to prepare in the unfortunate event that you may need to rescue a potential drowning victim.