Any time that kids are near water, it can be a source of fear for parents. Before you ban your children from swimming next summer, you should talk to them about water safety. Basic water safety measures will help prevent accidental injuries and deaths during the summer months. It’s never too soon to discuss water safety with kids.
Risks of Pools and Hot Tubs to Children
There are a few reasons that hot tubs and pools are dangerous to children. The following list is a few risks that hot tubs and pools pose to children:
- Drowning: All bodies of water—both large and small—can pose a risk of drowning for small children.
- Falling: When children run, climb, or play near pools and hot tubs, it can be very easy for them to slip and fall into the water. As they fall, children can hurt themselves or be knocked unconscious, both of which could lead to drowning.
- Jet and Drain Injuries: The jets in hot tubs and the drains in both hot tubs and pools can lead to injuries. A child’s hair or fingers can be caught in jets and drains and lead to significant injuries.
- Overheating: Hot tubs are often set at temperatures that can cause hyperthermia in small children. The time kids are allowed to be in hot tubs should be strictly monitored to prevent both overheating and dehydration.
How Can You Keep Your Kids Safe?
There will always be risks associated with children near any body of water. It is important that you take safety precautions as a parent to prevent incidents from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips for keeping kids safe near pools and hot tubs:
Baby and Toddler Safety
Babies and toddlers should never be allowed in hot tubs, as they are more susceptible to the heat. Children that are this young should always be supervised when they are near pools, and floatation devices should always be used. You should only allow children who can stand on the bottom with their heads completely out of the water to enter a hot tub. Toddlers and young children should only be allowed in hot tubs for five minutes at a time.
Teach Your Children About Water Safety
Before you ever bring your children near pools or hot tubs, you should teach them basic safety near water. Go over any rules you want to implement and explain to your children why it is important that the rules are followed. Much like the ones that are in place at public pools, these rules can prevent accidents and injuries at your home. You don’t want to scare your children, but they do need to understand the dangers of hot tubs and pools.
Cover Pools and Hot Tubs When Possible
When not in use, keep pools and hot tubs covered to prevent the above accidents from happening. If your children are going to be using the hot tub or swimming in the pool, they should be supervised by an adult. Unfortunately, some large swimming pools may be impossible to cover, but this means that you should always supervise your children when they are near the pool.
If possible, lock the covers you have on your hot tub and pool to prevent children from being able to pull them off and access the water while you aren’t around. If you do not have a hot tub cover there are several places from which you can order one online. There several brands and styles to choose from which can complicate the process. If you’re not sure where to start I recommend Spa Mate. They have been in business in 1979 and have built covers to fit every style of hot tub ever made. This makes them one of the best options when you’re looking to replace your hot tub cover.
Supervise Your Children Near Pools and Hot Tubs
Children should be monitored when playing in or near a pool or hot tub. There is always a risk of injury or drowning near pools and hot tubs, and one of the best ways to prevent these accidents is to watch children when they are near pools and hot tubs. If you own a pool or hot tub, you may want to learn CPR, just in case there is an accident. When supervising children near the pool or hot tub, keep a phone nearby, so you can quickly call for help in the event of an emergency.
Drop the Hot Tub Temperature
Hot tubs can reach temperatures of 104°F, and small children are sensitive to high temperatures. If you are going to let your children take a soak in the hot tub, you should drop the temperature to a more comfortable 95°F and limit their time in the tub to ten minutes. This will prevent overheating in young children. You should also be sure to keep kids hydrated while they are in the warm water of a hot tub.
These few tips will help you keep your kids safe near water all summer, and you will rest easier knowing that you are doing all you can to keep your children from having an accident that could cause them harm.