With the pools opening for summer it is crucial to remember pool safety.

The beach bag is loaded up, oversized towels hang out, while sunscreen scents fill the air. Children’s laughter and splashes echo through the air. With summer officially begun the pools are bursting into life after a winter of lying dormant. With the pools opening for summer it is crucial to remember pool safety.

It’s important to note that lifeguards are there to assist and protect, but they cannot see everything. Adults should maintain constant supervision whenever children are near water. Red Cross also recommends that adults stay within an arm’s reach of children. This way if anything did happen, the adult could respond immediately. Being unsupervised for no more than 5 minutes can quickly lead to drowning. According to CDC statistics, 77% of children drowned were found in the swimming pool after being missing for no more than 5 minutes.

A young child should never be left unattended near water. According to the CDC 76% of drowning deaths in the United States, each year involved children younger than five years of age. Statistics like these are what moved drowning to the number one cause of unintentional death worldwide for children between the ages of one and four. This is a startling statistic that can be prevented.

Another way to prevent drowning is by having young or inexperienced swimmers with US Coast Guard approved life jackets. Establishing rules for your family is another great way to prevent water injuries and deaths. Common rules would include limiting where a child can swim, or informing about the dangers of swimming near drains. Anyone of these items can mean the difference between life and death.

Playing in the pool is something that everyone looks forward to. Certain games should not be played, as they can be extremely dangerous. For example, swimmers should not have breath-holding contests, as this can lead to swimmers hyperventilating underwater.

While most adults daydream about having a drink in their hand, and toes in the sand, it is essential to do so carefully. Adults should avoid alcohol use as it impairs judgment and affects swimming and diving skills. Additionally, alcohol can reduce the body’s ability to stay warm.

One of the most important things that we can do is to be trained to prevent and respond to emergency situations. While no one wants to have to use their CPR training, no one regrets obtaining it. Red Cross offers numerous courses ranging on topics from home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED. These courses are here to educate on how to prevent and respond to pool emergencies.

Pools are a staple in almost everyone’s childhood memories. They mark summer, friends, fun and a break from school. Following these simple precautions allows us all to happily enjoy the summer and the pool for years to come.