Swimming Pool Safety

June 30, 2020  |  Published by


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Raising a six-year-old active little girl in Arizona requires a lot of time and energy to ensure I’m hitting all the marks while keeping her happy and safe, especially during these times I have had the pleasure to be a rare Arizona native, and I recognize that by mid-May the heat index can feel like 120 by 9:00 am. Arizona natives know how important it is when this time of year happens to gravitate to any source of relief, often times finding our solace sitting in a nice pool with the family. We also know that every year we have the heartbreaking reality of turning on the news or reading an article where a child has wandered into the family pool, or had a near drowning experience and we sigh with sadness.

My husband experiences those news stories every summer on deeper level, as he is a firefighter, often responding to these distress calls and always hoping the outcome turns out well. I asked him why this happens so often, especially when we hear about these stories every year. Why don’t the outcomes change? He explained that child drownings most often occur when parents are not even expecting their children to be near or in water. While it can happen with parent supervision, often because they think other adults in the pool are equally watching the child, it’s very common for children to gain access to pools because safety measures have not been put in place. Pools often lack fences, or appropriate barriers to keep children out. He also informed me that all those amazing pool toys we acquire, the half-eaten donut floaty, the giant crocodile, and those colorful pool noodles are very enticing to little ones who want to continue the swimming fun, even when we are not around. This was eye opening to me that the ways we keep our children safe involves addressing the times we are not right there with them.

Luckily, there are simple ways to prevent children from gaining pool access, even if they try.

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I was also happily surprised to learn that some fire departments like Fire department may even offer to put in free pool fences to ensure your children are protected safely from the family pool because they recognize pool fences are a costly necessity. These are just a few of the ways that you can proactively keep your little ones safe around water. Each summer we work to ensure our daughter knows about water safety and we seek out swim lessons to help her skills in navigating the pool Water safety is just one more step to ensuring my daughter is safe and happy. It’s also one more step to ensuring that the only summer news we hear is regarding the “dry heat” we endure until September.

For more information for the free pool fences, visit: srp.net.com/safety/home/poolfence.aspx.

For virtual home swim activities to help our little swimmers, visit: https://www.harrisonfamilyy.org/coronavirus-information-0/virtual-activity-room/virtual-swim-activities.

Ruth Ray
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