Who doesn’t love a splash in the pool when the sun is beating down? In fact, there are few more relaxing, fun ways to enjoy the beautiful weather than taking a dip in cool, clear water.

However, to keep everyone safe, it’s important to be aware of possible water safety risks and follow all posted rules. This is especially true when it comes to young ones! Even if you are hanging out in your own backyard, take the time to review safety rules with kids every time before they jump into the pool.

According to the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services, 90 children lost their lives in drownings in 2023. Rest assured, the best way not to become a statistic is to be aware of what you can do to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.

“Understanding and implementing pool safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved,” said Leslie Hollis, MD, pediatrician at Faith Community Health System.

First and foremost, supervision is key, Dr. Hollis said. “Whether it’s a public pool, private pool, or even a kiddie pool, someone should always be actively watching those in and around the water.”

Since drowning can occur in a matter of seconds, this responsibility should never be taken lightly, Dr. Hollis added.

One option is to designate a “water watcher” among the adults present and trade off “shifts.” Just make sure someone is always on guard with eagle eyes, focused on the pool and its occupants.

Making sure that everyone knows how to swim is another essential aspect of pool safety. This goes for kids of all ages! “Teaching children and adults how to swim not only enhances their enjoyment of the pool but also equips them with potentially life-saving skills,” said Tyson Burwell, COTA, director of the Swan Family Wellness Center. “Enrolling in swimming lessons, particularly for children, can instill confidence and teach crucial water safety techniques such as floating, treading water and proper breathing techniques.”

Make sure you have safety equipment on hand – including life jackets, reaching poles and a first aid kit. Never allow a brand new swimmer or a hesitant swimmer to be in the pool alone; you can be a lifeline as long as you are nearby in the water.

“Life jackets should be worn by non-swimmers and inexperienced swimmers, especially children, and should be readily accessible near the pool,” Burwell said. “Reaching poles can be used to assist someone struggling in the water without putting oneself in danger.”

A well-stocked first aid kit allows for immediate treatment of minor injuries and can be indispensable in more serious situations.Of course, in case of emergency, dial 9-1-1 as fast as possible. Bring anyone with non-life threatening injuries to Faith Community Hospital, Faith’s new ER in Bowie or to one of our rural clinics in Jacksboro, Alvord, Graham or Bowie.

Finally, do not neglect regular maintenance and inspection of the pool and its surrounding area. For example, pool fences with self-locking gates should be installed to prevent unauthorized access, particularly for households with young children. Additionally, checking the pool’s water quality and chemical levels regularly helps prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses and ensures a safe swimming environment.

“Teaching children about pool safety, including the importance of not running near the pool, refraining from diving in shallow water, and never swimming alone, empowers them to make responsible choices around water,” Dr. Hollis said.

By implementing proper supervision, teaching swimming skills, maintaining safety equipment, securing the pool area, and educating pool users, the risks associated with swimming pools can be significantly mitigated, allowing everyone to enjoy the water safely. Remember, when it comes to pool safety, prevention is always better than cure.