The summer heat is here!
When backyard space or budget constraints make an in-ground or above-ground permanent pool infeasible, portable swimming pools can provide a bit of relief from summer’s heat that’s accessible for everyone. Splashing around might be a great way to cool off when the mercury rises, but they can also prevent a very real drowning risk for small children.
Though these portable pools can be quite dangerous, there are precautions you can take that will help to make them less treacherous for the youngest members of your family.
Build Real Barriers
Because portable pools are affordable and easy to set up, parents don’t always put them in the same class as an in-ground or permanent above-ground swimming pool when it comes to kids’ safety. The truth is that these pools are just as appealing to young children, and can be just as deadly. Portable pools that can’t be easily emptied should be enclosed within a fence to keep kids from getting in impulsively or without supervision.
Run on Empty
Even if it’s relatively small and easy to fill, eager kids can make the process of filling a portable pool seem much longer and more arduous than it actually is. Regardless of how much shrieking, pleading and grumbling you’re faced with, make sure that a portable pool that can’t be fenced in is always completely emptied after use and either turned upside-down or stored away. Rain water that collects in a portable pool that’s right-side-up is not only a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other summer insects, but is also a drowning risk that’s just as real as one presented by an unfenced, in-ground pool.
Realize That Kids Aren’t “Drown-Proof”
Sending your children to swimming lessons and making sure that they’re strong swimmers may reduce their risk of drowning in some cases, but it certainly doesn’t make them invulnerable to drowning and water-related accidents. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that your accomplished swimmer could never drown in a small, portable pool. The truth is that any accident that renders your child incapacitated or unconscious while she’s near a source of water can cause her to drown if she’s not able to move her face out of that water.
Larger pools that are portable but difficult to set up might not be the best candidates for constant emptying. If erecting a fence is simply out of the question and constant filling and emptying of your portable pool would be inefficient and impractical, try removing the ladder. According to data collected by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, many kids that were injured or killed as a result of a portable-pool accident gained access to that pool by way of the ladder that came with it. If the sides of your portable pool are too high for kids to climb and there’s absolutely no other way for them to make their way over the side to gain access to the water, simple removal of the ladder can present an obstacle to entry that might be enough to discourage curious little ones.
Get Everyone Certified in CPR
Should the unthinkable happen, it’s imperative that everyone in your family is equipped to handle an emergency situation at a time when every second counts. Make sure that any member of the family who’s old enough to participate is enrolled in CPR and first aid classes so that they’re able to learn the proper life-saving techniques. Make sure that your kids know how to call 911, have a basic idea of resuscitation procedure for drowning victims and are able to use rescue equipment for a swimmer that’s struggling.
Source: Find A Babysitter