Twins Pool Death Highlights Summer Safety Issues

twins drown in swimming poolThe first thing I want to do when I read yet another horrible story like this one out of Northern California is just sit and cry. One-year-old twins are dead after falling into a backyard swimming pool; and losing not one, but two of your children has got to be the most incredibly painful thing in the entire world. And the next thing I want to do is beg everyone to stay safe around the pool. Because this could happen to any of us.

I really can't imagine having a swimming pool (current finances notwithstanding) since I'm completely paranoid about having my kids within a few feet of one on a daily basis. But the fact is, swimming is a fantastic summer activity. Whether you go to a friend's house or are on vacation, it's a blast to get the kids in the pool and splash around. We all just have to try our hardest to keep it safe for those too small to understand how to keep themselves out of trouble.

Here are some of the most important things I've learned about pool safety and kids:

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1. Always have a safety gate surrounding your pool, and a lock high enough so children cannot reach it. These two babies drowned in a pool that didn't have a gate, which is just not a good idea at all anymore.

2. Teach your children to be confident in the water. Not cocky, but not scared either. Get them used to being around water early, and increase their skill set with lessons every year.

3. Never leave your children unattended. Especially babies, crawlers, toddlers, and young kids who don't understand the danger of water. Make it clear they are never to go into the water without an adult.

4. Worry when you stop hearing your child. As I've written before, drowning is not a loud affair. Once someone is at the point of drowning, they freeze and cannot talk. If you know kids are at the pool, and it's suddenly quiet, it's time to run to the water and check on the action. Even if someone else is supposedly watching them.

5. Be that crazy mom. I know I am. Even when people say, "Come on, what are you worried about?" when you decline an invitation to an unsafe pool environment. You don't have to make everyone think you're a cool, relaxed parent when the safety of your child is at stake.

How do you keep your children safe around the pool in the summer?


Image via ajari/Flickr

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