There is little in life my kids love more than going swimming. When we went to the Dominican Republic in December, and then Arizona last month, all they wanted to do (basically the entire time we were on vacation) was play in the pool. Right now, Essley actually has a count-down going on to Memorial Day - because that's the day the local swimming pool opens for the year. They're both signed up for swimming lessons this summer, and we'll undoubtedly be purchasing season passes to the pool. And Essley has a couple of friends with pools at their houses where she'll have summer play dates. Swimming pools are going to be a big part of our lives in the coming months.
While the whole family is excited for pool season, I'm admittedly a little nervous (as I think most parents are, by instinct). Swimming pools are magical places for little ones, but they can also be incredibly dangerous. Thankfully, I recently learned about a concept known as the A, B, C, D's of water safety that The Zac Foundation put together to help parents remember important ways to keep kids safe. Since May is National Water Safety Month, and I'm sure many of you are gearing up for pool season yourselves, I thought I'd share what I've learned with all of you today (along with some of my favorite pictures of my little ones having water fun over the past few years). And when you're done reading, there's also a summer fun kit giveaway to enter at the end of the post to celebrate summer water season's arrival. Woohoo!
A is for Adult. An adult should always be present when children are in or around water, and should always have an eye on the children (and not be distracted by phones, etc., or walk away, even for a minute). Never let kids be alone near a pool, ocean, lake, or river.
B is for Barrier. If you have a pool or spa, make sure to have barriers to keep children safe. Examples of this would include a fence around your pool, a lock on the fence for which only adults have the key, a lock only reachable by adults on doors that lead to pool areas, an alarm that beeps if doors or windows to the pools or open, and an alarm that goes up if the surface of the water is disrupted. Children should also be taught to never a pool gate unless an adult is present.
C is for Classes. Kids and adults should take water safety classes. Children should take swimming lessons where they learn water safety, and adults should take classes in CPR and First Aid. If you have a pool, have a phone close to it at all times, and teach your children how to call 911. And as a family, find ways to talk about how to be safe around water.
D is for Drains. This is something I honestly had never even thought about before, but it is profoundly important. Teach all swimmers to stay away from all pool and spa drains. Make sure that any pool or spa you or your kids swim in has been inspected and is up to code. If you have a pool or spa, install emergency shutoff switches to shut off pumps, and if a drain cover becomes loose or falls up, makes sure to immediately shut down the pool until it is repaired.
In addition to the A, B, C, D's of water safety, I've learned even more about water safety on The Zac Foundation's website. Parents Karen and Brian Cohn co-founded The ZAC Foundation in 2008, in honor of their 6-year-old son, Zachary Archer Cohn, a natural and accomplished swimmer who passed away after his arm became entrapped in a pool drain. In Zachary's honor, they created this incredible organization that works to save the lives of children through educating parents on water safety and pioneering water safety standards. Pretty wonderful, right? Please take a minute to watch this informative video on one more thing to know before your kids jump in the pool (I am so glad I watched it, and I've passed it on to everyone I know who owns a pool). And for more water safety tips, sign up for the ZAC Foundation's newsletter right here.
And now for the giveaway! I'm teaming up with the ZAC Foundation and a few other bloggers to give away 15 summer prize packs, each of which includes a bag, towel, book, water watcher card, t-shirt and wristband. To enter, just use the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway runs through May 26th and is open to US residents who are 18 and older. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by The ZAC Foundation by June 1. Only one winner per household, please.
Big thanks to The Zac Foundation for consistently working to spread awareness about water safety, and for the great prizes they've donated for this giveaway! Have a happy - and safe - swimming pool and water season, friends.
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