School is almost out and that means you and your child will probably be spending quite a bit of time at your local pool. While this is a place to cool off and have fun, it can also be dangerous when you're not careful.
Here are a few tips to keep everyone safe:
- Ask questions – You are well within your rights to ask questions about the safety standards of a facility. Managers should confirm that all lifeguards are current on their certifications and if they are tested on their skills regularly. It's also a good idea to inquire if the pool has an emergency action plan in place and how often it is rehearsed.
- Tour the facility - If you are new to a pool or recreation center, it's important that you tour it before hopping into the pool. Look around to see if lifeguards are paying attention to swimmers and are scanning the area.
- Report concerns – In order to help a recreation center improve its safety programs, you need to speak up if you see anything that could put swimmers at risk.
- Respect lifeguards – These professionals aren't at the pool just to show off a lifeguard swimsuit. Lifeguards are trained to keep you and your family safe. Follow their rules and do not treat them like babysitters. You still need to keep a close eye on your brood whenever you are near water even if there is a lifeguard present.
- Understand your child's swimming abilities – If your child is not confident in the water, be sure to schedule a few swimming lessons. If a lifeguard or pool manager recommends that your child sticks to the shallow end or wears a life jacket, abide by these suggestions.