With Father’s Day being this weekend, it is the perfect opportunity for a big family party. Of course, if there is a pool involved, water safety for grandparents and children is an important topic to consider. Read on to learn more.
Swimming Benefits for Grandparents and Seniors
Before the kids come over, let’s talk about some of the amazing health benefits of swimming. We’ve written entire blogs about this topic, but in a nutshell, swimming is an amazing low-impact cardiovascular workout. Unlike running or other aerobic activities, it is quite easy on the joints.
As we get a bit older, our knees, muscles and joints may not bounce back as quickly. To this end, swimming is an excellent activity for older exercisers. According to the Mayo Clinic, swimming can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis. This condition can cause a person’s bones to become weak and brittle. These can lead to fractures, most commonly seen in the hips, wrists and spine.
Keeping this in mind, that is great news about swimming. Rather than sitting on the sidelines, grandma and grandpa are free to join the family in the fun with much less risk of injury.
Understanding Water Safety for Grandparents and Children
Of course, while swimming is quite beneficial, there are still dangers to consider. For one, drowning is always a serious risk. Water safety for grandparents and children starts with understanding the potential hazards.
To start, drowning can affect anyone, of any age. That said, drowning is particularly dangerous for children under the age of four. According to the CDC, it is one of the most common ways for little ones to die or sustain severe injuries. Likewise, older people may be more likely to slip or lose their bearings while in the pool. To prevent these types of situations, it is crucial to take water safety for grandparents and children seriously.
Set Up Ahead of Time
Preparation is a key element of water safety for grandparents and children. This means that the house should be properly child-proofed before young visitors arrive. Install multiple layers of security to help keep curious children away from the water when no one is watching.
Start by installing a tall sturdy pool fence. Ideally, this should be tall enough that a child or pet cannot climb over. It also should be strong enough to withstand the elements, or firm pushing against it. Look for “tension-based support,” which is an indicator of a strong mesh that can’t be ripped when pressure is applied. To learn more, read our detailed article about the value of installing a pool fence.
Next, be sure that the fence includes a self-closing gate. This should help eliminate fear that the gate might be open. It adds an extra layer of security.
For more water safety for grandparents and children, experts recommend installing locks and motion-sensing alarms on any doors and windows that lead to the water. Finally, consider putting an additional alarm in the water. These special alarms blare when they sense that someone has entered the water.
When all these security measures are combined, they can help to greatly improve peace of mind for a gathering.
Lay Down the Law
As everyone arrives, it is time for “the talk.” This means that everyone needs to understand the ground rules before anyone even approaches the pool or hot tub area. Some of these can include rules like:
- No running.
- No roughhousing.
- No diving in the pool.
Finally, no one should go in the pool without an active supervisor present. Far too many children drown each year while adults are nearby. This is a terrible tragedy, but the risk can be significantly reduced by always keeping an undistracted, dedicated watcher near the kids. To learn more, read our full blog post about active supervision.
Water safety for grandparents and children shouldn’t be a chore, but a bit of vigilance can go a long way. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!