When summer arrives, it comes with warm, sunny days that are ideally spent splashing around in a pool. Thinking about going for a swim with your little one? Here are some safety guidelines you can follow to make sure that it’s a smooth experience for everyone.

The best way to keep children safe around swimming pools is by having an adult who knows how to swim actively supervising them at all times. For infants and toddlers, an adult should be within arm’s reach in the water with them. There should be a fence or barrier that completely covers the pool area, preventing children from entering the area on their own. If you have a pool at home, it’s a good idea to establish some ground rules. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following:

  • When people are not using the pool, keep toys away from it.
  • Blow-up pools should be emptied after each use.
  • No riding toys near the pool (bicycles, tricycles, etc).
  • Keep electrical appliances away from the pool area.
  • No diving in shallow water.
  • No running on the pool deck.

The AAP recommends swimming lessons for kids that are over four years old, or children from 1-4 years old that are ready to learn. Children will be ready to learn at different stages in their individual development. Consider the frequency of exposure to water, emotional maturity, and physical development in order to decide if your little one should begin swimming lessons. Keep in mind that even after lessons, young children should always be supervised in or around a pool.

Have fun this summer, but remember: safety comes first! Take a look at these links to get more information about pool and general water safety.