Summertime comes in and the kids want to be at and in the pool. Although swimming pools are great sources of fun and exercise for children, they can have an extremely dangerous side. Drowning is a major issue facing many summertime pool goers including small children who may not understand the complete rules surrounding pool safety. Here are some guidelines to follow.
One of the main rules with swimming pools is that a responsible adult should be present to supervise the children. Many accidents occur because no one was around when the child had the accident.
Some accidents that could occur could include cramping, head or body injuries and slipping underwater without adequate swimming experience.
Cramps occur when a child is over stressed, not used to the long exposure to swimming activity and the water or can commonly occur after eating due to the bodyís digestion process. The body starts to digest after eating and going into the water and swimming an above normal activity level can cause indigestion causing cramping. Children tend to stay in the water too long and without recognizing problems. With an adult present it is easier to spot these problems and solve them before tragedy occurs.
Little or No Swimming Experience
Even beginner swimming knowledge can help tremendously. A lot of accidents occur due to little or no knowledge of swimming, the rules and water. Someone can drown in as little as a couple inches of water. Knowledge of this and of basic swimming can help prevent drowning.
Have all children that may go swimming take at least beginner swimming lessons. These lessons are generally given at local pools, at YMCAís and private instruction. Ask the local pool for referrals to lessons.
Fencing Around Pools
A lot of accidents occur with smaller children who donít understand or know about pool safety. They are generally too young to fully comprehend the dangers. A high fence around the pool is a deterrent. Fences should be higher with no way to climb over. Smaller children usually have an uncanny ability to climb especially when they are fully dazzled by the pretty water on the other side. The fence should also have a lock on it that prevents children from coming into the pool area without supervision and permission.
CPR and Basic First Aid
CPR and first aid can help if accidents happen. Learn these techniques from a local YMCA or other places such as a hospital or an adult career center may have classes available. These techniques can easily give the child who has fallen into the pool a better chance for survival.
The small pools at home can pose risks too. Remember that only a couple inches of water is necessary to drown. Always supervise your children when playing around pools of any size.
Be aware that chlorine, the chemical commonly used in pools to prevent bacterial and mold growth can cause health problems in higher doses. There have been cases of swimming poolsí chemical release mechanisms failing and high doses of chlorine being released into unsuspecting swimming pools.
Knowledge of this chemical and the effects it has can help. Learn about Chlorine by searching for it on the Internet or at a local library. Generally lower concentrations of this chemical can cause burning and irritations of the eyes, mouth and other sensitive membranes. It can also cause chest pain and severe coughing. If any of these occurs in children and others in the swimming pool, immediately remove the victims from the pool. Oxygen is necessary for living tissue to continue living. The chlorine prevents the body from using oxygen properly. The quicker the victim is removed from the chlorine to an oxygen rich environment the better the recovery.
Make sure the proper authorities are aware of a potential chlorine problem as well.