Heading to the pool? Remember these tips

Swim lessons are the best way to be ready for safe summer swimming.
By Julie Jordan
Published May 25, 2018

Before using a pool to cool off this summer, the Department of Public Health encourages Georgians to honestly evaluate their swimming ability and pool water quality. Georgia averages 122 drowning deaths a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that for children ages one to 14, drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death. The better you and your child’s swimming skills, the safer you will be by the pool. Take swim lessons, and when you go to the pool, follow these guidelines:

  • Supervise children closely.
  • Make sure there is a proper fence around the pool.
  • Make sure the drain covers located at the bottom of the deep end are clearly visible and appear to be secured and in good repair.
  • Identify and locate lifesaving equipment: emergency phone, rescue ring buoy and reaching pole with hook.

For healthy swimming, use the buddy system. According to the CDC, there were about ten deaths per day from 2005-14 caused by unintentional drownings (non-boat related). Recreational waterborne illness (germs spread by contaminated water in swimming pools), drowning and entrapment injuries can all result from swimming without taking the proper precautions. Don't swim if you have diarrhea.

A responsible adult should watch young children swimming or playing around water. Those watching children of pre-school age or younger should provide “touch supervision” or be close enough to reach the child at all times.

Parents should provide swim lessons for their children, and the elderly should consult with their physician before swimming. General rules for parents are:

  • Don't take kids to the pool when they are ill.
  • Take a cleansing shower.
  • Don’t pee or poop in the water.
  • Don’t swallow the water.
  • Keep an eye on children at all times; kids can drown in seconds and in silence.
  • Take kids on bathroom breaks.
  • Check diapers, and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area – not poolside – to keep germs away from the pool.
  • Reapply sunscreen.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Dry ears thoroughly with a towel after swimming.