Toddler Pool Safety Tips

toddler in pool with a toy
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If small children may use your pool, toddler pool safety is a serious concern. Whether they’re your own children, grandkids, or the children of friends, you want to create a safe fun experience. While toddlers love being in the pool, they’re at a risk their young minds don’t yet comprehend and that their young bodies may not be strong or coordinated enough to prevent. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children up to the age of four. Proactive pool safety is the best way to avoid becoming part of this tragic statistic.

Daring And Scaring

It’s been said that we all should strive to approach life like toddlers: willing to fearlessly attempt new things and quick to push our limits. Parents can tell you just how frightening this can look from the other side of the equation. As their bodies grow, they improve their motor skills and develop a healthy curiosity for the world around them. They also start to express themselves more, which means, in addition to an adorably precocious personality, you could be met with a diminutive person with an outsized stubborn streak.

toddler swimming in pink bathing suit with yellow goggles
Toddler swimming in pink bathing suit with yellow goggles

As part of toddler pool safety, you have to recognize that when they love being in the pool, they don’t understand or want to hear that the pool is closed. Your little mermaid just wants to have fun. Sure, Mom or Dad said no, but they also say you’re getting so big. What’s a mermaid to do? Too often, the choice they would make is not the safe and dry path.

Keeping Toddlers Safe In Pool And Out

Swimming safety starts before a toe dips into the water, and it keeps going long after the day’s fun is over. The most important part of toddler pool safety is making sure your child is never alone in the pool area. 

  • Keep Your Pool Secured. – Removable pool safety fencing, safety swimming pool covers, and safety nets help prevent unsupervised access to the pool area. Designed to resist tearing, UV damage, and degradation from the chemicals used to keep your pool sanitized, these barriers aren’t just a good idea but in many communities are also required by law.
  • Make Sure The Area Is Hazard-Free. – Debris, dirt, and trash can easily blow into the pool area, presenting a contamination hazard for your pool and a potential health hazard for toddlers who tend to still put things in their mouths. Inspect your pool area regularly for objects that shouldn’t be there, including not only these hazards, but electrical wires or appliances that could lead to shocks and electrocution, glass containers that can shatter and cause cuts, or discarded towels that could present a tripping hazard.
  • Be Ready For Emergencies. – As part of toddler pool safety, make sure you’re trained and certified in child and infant CPR through the American Red Cross as well as general water safety. You’ll also want to keep your pool area supplied with the tools you need to manage emergencies, such as life-saving rescue devices and a first aid kit. While in the pool area, you should also have either a mobile phone or landline handy in case EMS is needed. 
  • Consider Swimming Lessons Before At-Home Swimming. – Swimming experience is not a substitute for effective supervision, but anytime a child will be spending a lot of time around the water, lessons are a good idea. This can give them the skills, stamina, and confidence they need to use the pool safely and help save themselves if they fall into a pool inadvertently.
  • Assign A Water Watcher. – It’s easy to become distracted, especially when you’re hosting friends and their children. Make sure someone is assigned to keep an eye on the water the moment the pool is uncovered or the gate is open, even if you’re not swimming quite yet. Make sure they know it’s their job, understand their responsibilities, and that if they have to leave the area, that responsibility is passed on to someone else. If you are alone and have to step away, take your child with you. They’ll complain but they will also be safer.

Safe Swimming Fun

Once the fun gets started, make sure it doesn’t end on a dangerous note. Toddler pool safety doesn’t mean an end to the splishy, splashy fun. It just means that you’ve taken the steps needed to protect them from themselves.

  • Make Sure Your Pool’s Water Is Properly Maintained. – Young children have sensitive skin. Before they begin using the pool, ensure its water is safe, with chemical levels that are within appropriate balance with a comprehensive pool water testing kit that checks alkalinity, pH, and hardness.
  • Understand Your Swimmer’s Skill Level. – Do you have a water baby that’s been taking lessons since they were an infant or is using a pool something your toddler has never really done? Make sure you know their swimming abilities, explain water safety as best you can for their comprehension level, and supervise them accordingly.
  • Appropriate Attire Should Be Used From The Start. – Swimmers should wear swimsuits that fit well at a minimum. Some suits can incorporate flotation devices, which may or may not be appropriate, based on their skill level and whether they’re learning to swim or playing in the water. 
  • Plan Appropriate Activities. – Toddlers–in a pool or out–are curious and imaginative. If you don’t have something to occupy them, many parents with crayon-covered walls will tell you, they’ll find their own amusement. This can especially be true if you get a group of toddlers together. Plan for safe swimming pool games, rest time that gives them a break, and bathroom breaks that keep your pool water cleaner. 

Protective Barriers Work

toddler standing against a pool fence holding a green ball
Toddler standing against a pool fence holding a green ball

The Centers for Disease Control cite a lack of barriers as a contributing factor in the majority of water-related deaths. Physical barriers help prevent unsupervised pool entry, and they can be adapted to fit any pool in a way that supports your chosen activities, your pool’s utility, and the personal aesthetics you want for your watery retreat. Professionally installed safety barriers are a great foundation for toddler pool safety.

  • Removable Swimming Pool FencesRemovable pool fences are durable, attractive, and offer the flexibility you want for your pool. Rip-resistant mesh is stretched between strong poles anchored into your deck or the surrounding ground. When paired with a self-closing, self-latching gate, the lack of gaps and footholds makes this fence resistant to climbing, squeezing through, or pushing under. It’s easily maintained, and if you need more space, the fence can be temporarily removed and stored–such as during a pool party–before being set up again when the day’s fun is over.
  • Swimming Pool Safety NetsMade of strong knotted twine, anchored to the pool deck, and tensioned by cords and springs, a safety net is custom-fit to cover your pool area. The wide gaps make it hard for toddlers, infants, or pets to walk or crawl out over the water’s surface far from the edge. This keeps them suspended up and out of the water where they can be easily lifted and pulled to safety.
  • Swimming Pool Safety CoversUsing a tight mesh that resists, UV damage, chemicals, and ripping, this cover keeps out dust, leaves, and other debris, but is much stronger than a standard leaf cover. Anchored along the edge of the pool, a safety cover can support the weight of a full-grown adult, making it a smart choice not just for toddler pool safety but also for homes with elders or anyone who may have trouble saving themselves should they fall in the pool. 

Making Your Pool Safer

You can get started right now for free. Your local pool safety professional will take measurements, talk to you about your pool safety needs, and provide you with a written estimate. For many pool owners, peace of mind is more budget-friendly than they believed. Whether you need a cover, fence, or both, your installer will help you understand your options and custom design a plan to fit your pool area. Make toddler pool safety a priority and request your no-cost, no-obligation quote from your local All-Safe Pool installer today.

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