Backyard pools must be fenced according to city bylaws, but aside from that most pool rules are left up to home owners and it only takes seconds for a child to slip beneath the surface of the water. Here are some suggestions that shouldn’t be optional.
“Make sure you’ve got somebody designated to be watching and if that needs to trade off to the next person in the next 10 minutes, at least someone is observing what’s happening in the pool at all times.” Nancy Rumple from the YMCA.
It’s also important to have lifesaving equipment on hand, like reaching tools and floatation devices. Make sure swimmers know the rules of the pool, where the deep end starts and how to use toys safely.
Supervisors should pay close attention to floaties or anything that could block a child from view. Also look for early signs of distress. “The panicked wide eyes, might be holding their breath, often times kind of tipped back trying to keep the water in their lungs as opposed to going underneath, waving of arms, a yell for help is a standard one as well.”
If a child goes beyond distress and is near drowning, they usually stop moving. You want to act before that happens.