Parenting 101: Pool safety every parent should know

Summertime means lots of water fun, but the pool and other bodies of water can be extremely dangerous too. Even a shallow plastic kiddie pool can become a potential drowning risk. All too often over the summer season, we read about children succumbing to the dangers of swimming, so we want to remind you of some pool safety every parent should know.

Supervision... especially in group settings. When there are numerous adults at a barbecue or backyard party, we all too often assume "someone" is keeping an eye on the kids in the pool. But is someone? Constantly? 

Pools should always have some sort of enclosure. A lot of local municipalities require this by law - it can even apply to blowup or soft-sided pools that may seem shallow and small but still fall under regulations for fencing. 

These enclosures should have locks that are out of a small child's reach. Motion sensors can be installed around the pool. There are also floating sensors that will go off if there's any movement in the water.

Be wary of all pool toys and their safety. Things that restrict a child's movement while swimming, like mermaid tails or flippers for their feet, can be restricting and very dangerous, even for seasoned swimmers. Also remove any ties, ropes or strings that might be part of certain toy designs, like inflatable rafts.

Have clearly defined pool rules, such as no pushing or shoving, no diving except in the deepest end of the pool, and leaving the pool if there's any sort of bad weather.

Have safety devices, like life preservers or life jackets. This is especially important in natural bodies of water.

Regularly inspect the pool and surrounding pool areas. Make sure filters and drains are clear of debris and safe. Also, ensure there aren't any slippery spots on the deck.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe summer!