Kid Safety · Parenting · Pool Safety · Safety for kids

Pool Safety Ideas for Toddlers {& All Children Who Can’t Swim Yet}

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Hi friends. I have had hard time knowing how to present these safety ideas to you because 1) I just got to Florida where my parents have a pool in their backyard, so we’ve barely tested our pool safety ideas yet and 2) Because of the heartache that is attached for many when it comes to pool safety. I would like to acknowledge that the reason we are all fearful of infants and toddlers – and all non-swimmers – around a pool is because a swimming pool can be dangerous. It is mostly fun and a great way to wear out kids during the summer, but for those of us with three little ones who can’t swim quite yet, it’s important we at least have the discussion. Whether it’s a friend’s backyard, your own parents’ pool, or the community pool, it’s a good idea to know what the plan is for pool safety awareness, so that our little curious boys and girls don’t find their curiosity leading them to a situation they cannot handle.

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So, again, please do your own research. Do not take any of these ideas as tested and approved, but only as ideas to get you thinking of your own plan and ideas. But together, my parents and I, along with some tips from my friend Jenny Kraver who is a South Florida mom of four with a pool in her backyard, compiled a couple ideas that may help add layers of protection between your little one and the big pool.

If you take nothing else away, first and foremost – pay attention to your child at all times, do not leave him/her alone near any kind of body of water for a second. 

1. Swimming lessons. I didn’t believe it last summer when my sons were only one year old and my daughter’s swim teacher said to get the boys in swim lessons. I believe it now, they are never too young. They are now 2 years old and in swim lessons. As expected, there are a ton of tears and it forces us parents into a position of having to watch our child painstakingly learn to get comfortable with the water, but it’s worth it. Every penny spent on swim lessons is the best money you can spend. Get your child in swim lessons as soon as possible.

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2. Pool gates: If you have a pool gate, make sure the door is always latched. Be hyper vigilant to follow up behind older kids and adults as they go in and out to make sure the gate is latched. If you have yet to choose one, find a gate that has a latch that is very difficult to open.

3. Life vests and puddle jumpers. My rule for the summer is if the boys are outside they have to have life jackets on. Especially with TWO-two-year-olds {we are dealing with twin toddlers} who are likely to break free and run in opposite directions at any moment. The boys have worn the vests fishing on the dock, walking around the backyard, and though they cry for a moment putting them on, they really are no bother at all. These vests are from Walmart.

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4. Door alarms. Another great idea from my Dad was setting up an alarm on the patio doors that goes off when the latch is broken and the door is opened. The boys aren’t tall enough to reach the handle, but if they found a way to open the door, the alarm would sound and we would at least have a few seconds to come grab them. Here it is on Amazon.

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5. Designate a “Lifeguard.” Whether you are having a party with a bunch of kids and adults or a small get together, designate an adult to watch the kids. Take turns playing lifeguard. Everyone always thinks that someone else is watching the kids, but it’s critical to designate a single person to be the one.

6. Talk about it. It’s important to discuss the dangers of swimming with your kids who can understand it, as well as adults who may have forgotten what it’s like for the little ones. Remind everyone that kids who do not know how to swim should not ever be near a body of water without supervision or ideally a life vest on. It’s important to remind your children who are learning to swim that they can never be in the water alone without supervision and if they ever find themselves in the pool without an adult to swim to the side or to the steps and hold on and yell for help.

This summer we are doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our kiddos to learn how to swim. With fishing and swimming at our fingertips for a few weeks, we are all on board to share the responsibility of keeping the young ones safe. There is a lot of fun to be had, but safety must come first. Personally, I am also praying the Lord put a hedge of protection around my kids as well as everyone’s kids this summer.

Please pay attention to your kiddos. Let’s have a really fun and safe summer!

Love,

Karen

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