Babies love to be in the water, right from splashing time when they are two months or three months old to when they start standing. As the baby becomes older, parents start making them used to pool, so they start with inflated pools, and then the child starts accompanying them to the pools where they go.
When you do introduce your little one to water, keep the following safety tips in mind:
– Practice “touch supervision,” meaning that an adult stays within arm’s reach of an infant or toddler whenever they’re in or near a body of water.
– Once your child can walk, teach them some basic pool safety tips: Don’t run near the pool, and don’t get in the water by yourself.
– Always hold your baby in the pool, and don’t wade into water too deep for you to maintain firm footing.
Inflatable toys like water wings, inner tubes, and pool noodles are fun to play with, but aren’t meant to serve as flotation devices.
If you’re going to a public pool :
1 . Always Be There For Supervision of Babies
Babies feel more secure if their parents or guardians are near them. At no cost should a baby in the pool be left unattended. Babies are too small to understand when they need to close and open their mouths in the water, so the adult should be alert as water can enter the lungs, and the baby’s health could be at stake. Apart from this, there must be an adequate bar to reach the side of the pool so that the rescue process does not take too long.
2. Learn CPR and Basic Water Rescue Skills
It is important to be aware with respect to water safety and even be conversant with administering CPR in the right manner, with knowing when it should be given. Always have first aid handy near the pool. Keep the brochures pasted with the guidelines of what needs to be done in an emergency. Once the baby is old enough, they can be taught swimming techniques. Generally, they only learn swimming once they are more than four years old.
3. Don’t Let the Baby’s Head Go Underwater
The pool is cleaned and sanitized, yet it is not advisable to let the head of the baby be underwater as there are several bacteria and viruses in it which the baby can swallow leading to several diseases. Also, in case they breathe inside this contaminated water, it can result in choking hazards.
4. Be Careful With Swim Toys
Supervising the babies while in the pool is the biggest responsibility of the adults as there are no alternatives or safety measures for the same. If using an inflated pool, they need to be cautious that it is done properly, and after each use, it should be properly deflated and kept back.
5. Keep Proper Safety Devices
It is always advisable to use adequate safety devices and not rely on baby floaters, tubes as these are not intended to prevent you from drowning. They are made by inflating air, and if not done properly or if it deflates accidentally, it can put the baby in danger.
6. Protection of Skin
Skin is one organ that gets majorly impacted when in the pool. It is common to get sunburns as the water reflects the sun’s rays in the pool. It is thus mandatory to apply a protective lotion or sunscreen and then keep the area covered. A baby’s skin is more sensitive and delicate than the adult’s, so they can have rashes instead of sunburns, so they should even apply a mild lotion or a rash-free cream that protects the skin making it soft and less painful. Be sure to keep the baby covered up with proper clothing through which air can pass.
If you’re using a swimming pool at home :
+ Drain inflatable or plastic pools after use and store them in an upright position.
+ If you have a permanent pool, completely enclose it with a fence at least 4 feet high, though 5 feet is preferable. Lock the gate after each use with a latch that your child can’t reach.
+ It’s highly unlikely that your baby will get sick from swallowing some pool water, but make sure any device that dispenses chlorine is kept out of reach so your baby doesn’t accidentally ingest or inhale chlorine.
+ Take care that the water isn’t too hot or cold. Babies aren’t able to regulate their body temperature as well as adults, so their temperature can change very quickly in water that’s too cold or hot. And don’t let your baby or toddler in a hot tub, spa, or pool heated to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re 3 years old.
+ The high temperatures in hot tubs can cause a child’s heart to race or pose other dangers.
Some notes when you let your baby go swimming:
Be sure to lather them up with sunscreen, and have them wear a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses to protect their eyes.
Keep an eye out for signs of overheating: cool, moist skin; dizziness; and leg or stomach cramps.
Sun exposure is another factor to consider when getting ready to take your baby in the water.
The AAP recommends starting swimming lessons once your baby’s about a year old, though you may see lessons designed for parents and babies as young as 6 months.