Some parents already known the importance of pool safety especially among kids. Unfortunately, the reality is, some injuries and accidents in the pool are caused by misconceptions that pool owners, parents or guardians have.
Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children under 5 years old. However, there is no “cure” for drowning, only prevention. Thus, this blog post is created to increase knowledge and awareness among pool owners and parents. Here are some common swimming pool misconceptions that could lead to drowning. Read on below.
Misconception 1 - A child can be left alone in a pool for 2 or more minutes.
Many parents or guardians believed that leaving their child in the pool for 2 or more minutes is acceptable. Moreover, some parents believed that it is tolerable to leave a child, specifically an older one (aged 9-12) unaccompanied in the pool.
The fact is, children are very active while they are in the pool. Because of that, kids are highly at risk of drowning and other pool injuries. Thus, it is highly recommended to supervise your kids carefully while they are in the pool.
The parent or guardian should be within arm’s reach of the child. It is also necessary to have pay full attention on the kids. You may not know when an accident may happen.
Misconception 2 - When a child is drowning, the guardian would hear it.
In a survey, researchers found out that almost 50% of the parents think that they will hear a child crying and screaming while drowning. This is one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to drowning.
Most parents will anticipate that they will immediately hear their kids if they are in trouble. Since there are many distractions in the pool, it will be difficult for the guardian to stay focus.
It is also not enough to just supervise your child with your ears only. Aside from that, drowning can only happen in just a matter of seconds. Thus, parents are advised to check and ask their children from time to time if they are okay so that kids can give their verbal response.
Misconception 3 - Older children can supervise the younger ones.
There is no guarantee that older kids will be responsible enough to take care of the younger ones. Hence, older children should not be left to supervise younger kids.
Children can easily become distracted especially while they are in the pool. As a result, they may not notice that the smaller kids are in trouble.
In a matter of seconds, a kid can suffer from pool-related injuries or even drowning. It is important that an adult parent or guardian should supervise the children since they are more responsible than the older kids.
Misconception 4 - Children who can swim are not at risk of drowning.
Learning how to swim builds confidence especially when kids are exposed to the water. However, there is no swimming program yet that can make your child “drown-proof”.
Parents should understand that each child’s swimming abilities are different. For instance, you cannot compare the abilities of a kid who has weekly swimming lessons for several years to a child who also learns how to swim for only a month. These differences in the length of learning and the kid’s current swimming skill does not guarantee that they will be exempted to drowning.
Learning how to swim is just an added skill that kids should develop. It also teaches them to be more disciplined and to believe in their abilities.
Misconception 5 - Pool fence is not necessary.
The number of pool drowning deaths among children under 5 years old is increasing nowadays. Aside from the strict adult supervision, a complaint pool fence and gates are important.
In Australia, each state has its own list of pool fencing regulation. Unfortunately, some pool owners have overlooked these regulations.
Pool barriers restrict your child from accessing the pool especially when you are not around. Thus, it is vital that the barriers are in good condition and meets the required standard.
Swimming pools can be dangerous especially if the pool owner does not take time and make effort to reduce the potential drowning hazards. Maybe you are one of the few who once believed the perceptions discussed above are true. It is crucial for pool owners, parents and guardians to have a clear understanding when it comes to kids’ safety in the pool.
If you want to know more about pool safety, you can call a trustworthy and experience pool certifier/inspector (eg. My Pool Safety) to help you. They can provide services such as comprehensive pool inspection and pool repairs.