The older children get, the more they learn and the more excited parents are to see them develop. From a child’s first steps to the first day of school, to their first day out with their driver’s license, parents can’t help but be proud at their child’s independence. Many parents approach swimming the same way. With the dangers that swimming pools can present, it’s difficult to determine the appropriate time for kids to start swimming alone.
So what age can you trust children to safely swim by themselves? The answer is never. It never becomes completely safe for anyone of any age to swim alone. If you have children who may be tempted, it is highly recommended that you install a pool fence, pool net, or similar safety barrier to prevent them from trying.
Swimming Alone is Dangerous for All Ages
Water can be dangerous to any person regardless of their skill level — even professional Olympic swimmers have lifeguards as a precaution while they compete. Rather than focusing on setting an age standard for your child to be able to swim by themselves, consider setting up an environment where your children and all of your loved ones will continue to be safe in and around the pool, even when Olympic-trained lifeguards aren’t present.
Install Protection for All Ages
Having a pool in the backyard is a huge responsibility, especially when you have kids who may try to swim alone. As a busy parent, it is impossible to have all eyes on your kids at every second of every day, which is why accidents can easily happen when you least expect it. When kids, especially toddlers and pre-teens, first learn how to swim and want to begin exploring and their independent and competitive sides, they will often spend a lot of time in the water. They may try to sneak past you to get some extra swimming in, which can be disastrous whether they have had two lessons or two seasons on the recreational swim team.
With the thousands of people drowning every year and many of them being children, it is crucial to have a security barrier between your little ones and the pool. By installing a fence around your pool, you can create a safe, secure and durable level of protection that is built to withstand all types of weather and children. There are various materials to choose from to ensure that the fence fits your yard’s aesthetic needs while also making you feel confident that your kids will never be able to sneak some swim time alone when you’re not looking.
Prevent Play Time Accidents
Every good strategy has plenty of backup plans. We all hope that the countless time and energy put into swim lessons is a full-proof way to arm our families against the dangers of the pool, but the truth is that not all incidents involve swimming. Many accidental drownings occur from children falling into the water when they are playing near it. Even with years of swim training, it is easy for children young and old to go into shock and panic when they are not expecting to be in the water. When this occurs, it can be easy to forget any training or skills or even lose consciousness from the fright, making the situation much more dangerous.
To prevent this, try installing a mesh safety fence to help prevent your kids from falling in by accident. For even better coverage, you can count on a pool cover to cover your pool area entirely. For an additional layer of protection, you can even install a pool net along with it.
Have Someone Ready to Help
A pool full of people can be just as dangerous as having your kid swim alone if no one is ready to help. Your child’s birthday first birthday, your teenager’s high school swim team celebration or even your anniversary party are all great reasons to have family and friends over for a day by the pool. Even with dozens of people over in one area, swimming can still be a dangerous activity if nobody is actively monitoring the pool. A lot of activity can result in children unexpectedly falling in. Even delicious food off the grill can leave the most experienced swimmers with painful and debilitating muscle cramps after jumping back into the water too quickly. An even for adults, drinking can significantly alter comprehension and motor function. Just a few moments of distraction can result in a lifelong of despair.
It is crucial to always have someone actively monitoring the children and adults who are hanging around the pool. The person can change throughout the pool day, but they should always be sober, clear-minded, and physically able to swim and rescue someone from the water at a moment’s notice. Kids who are still beginners or adults who have been swimming for 30+ years all have the same likelihood of drowning if someone is unable to help them when they are swimming alone.
Independence is Not the Answer
At the end of the day, no person is safe from the drowning if you are not careful in your protection and prevention strategies. Whether it’s your two-year-old child or Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, no age is the age to swim completely alone. As important as swim lessons are and as much as parents want to see their children grow and exhibit their independence, pool safety strategies should not lessen with age.
Take the time to install the proper pool prevention accessories, such as a fence, pool cover or pool net, and you can help limit the dangers in your own backyard. Your local All-Safe dealer can help keep an eye on all of your loved ones, from ages 1 to 101.
Call your local All-Safe pool safety expert today to help you deter the consequences of your kid swimming alone.