Pediatric Specialists of Plano

Tips for Pool Safety and Drowning Prevention

Kids love the water, and we want them to have fun, but we also want them to stay safe. Our Plano pediatricians have important advice for parents about pool safety and drowning prevention.

Drowning prevention saves lives

Here are some startling statistics about drowning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • In the United States, drowning causes more deaths than any other cause in children ages one to four.
  • After motor vehicle accidents, drowning is the second leading cause of death for U.S. children ages 5 to 14.

There are several factors that make it more likely for a child to drown.

  • The inability to swim
  • Lack of fencing or ineffective enclosures around pools
  • Lack of supervision

Swimming lessons are one way to help keep kids safe

Swimming lessons are one of the best methods of drowning prevention. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lessons as early as age one, depending on the child. Swimming lessons help provide an extra level of protection. Toddlers and preschoolers learn some water safety skills in classes, but adults still need to vigilantly supervise them while they are in the water.

Our Plano pediatricians believe that swimming lessons are a must by age four. At this age, most kids are ready to learn things like how to float, tread water and get themselves to a place where they can safely exit the pool. By the time kids are five or six, they should be able to master a front crawl and other pool safety steps. While lessons help children learn to swim and help prevent drowning, there is no such thing as a “drown proof” child.

A designated water watcher is a must when kids are in the water

Water watchers are designated adults who vigilantly observe children while they are in the water. The watcher should be within arm’s length of younger children or new swimmers at all times. It’s also important for the water watcher to keep a very close eye on older children while remaining undistracted by cellphones, alcohol or socializing. This drowning prevention step could save a child’s life.

Preventing injuries in and around the pool

An essential part of pool safety is following the pool rules.

  • No running around the pool
  • No dunking or dangerous horseplay in the water
  • No pushing into the pool
  • No diving unless the water is at least nine feet deep
  • If nobody knows the water depth, no diving at all
  • No swimming during storms, especially while there is lightning
  • No mermaid tails or costume fins in the pool

Following pool rules keeps everyone safe and prevents mild to serious injuries.

Parents who have questions about pool safety should talk to our Plano pediatricians

Whether parents have questions about drowning prevention through swimming lessons, pool fencing or water watchers, our pediatricians have the answers. Contact us for an appointment.