Friday, February 1, 2013

How to Teach Pool Safety to Young Children

Pool safety is one of those things that should become a habit at a young age. There are plenty of pool safety tools such as devices that make a loud noise when something causes waves in your pool or watches that your child can wear to alert you via a remote monitor when your child goes into the pool. While technology can provide peace of mind, teaching the basics of pool safety at a young age is just as important.

Keep It Short

Most young children don't have the patience to sit still for a lengthy lecture on pool safety. If you have a lot to cover, teach pool safety in short lessons instead of lumping it all together. It won't be long before your child starts to drift and they won't retain anything either. If, for example, you start with how to use floatation devices, let your children get in the pool with the floatation devices. Young children tend to be more responsive if they can do what you are telling them to do as you give instructions instead of just listening to you lecture.

Use the Buddy System

Young children tend to learn better when there is someone around their own age with them. This can be a brother or sister or one of their friends. If you invite one of their friends over, invite at least one other parent too. The more supervision you have, the more time you have to focus on what you are trying to teach. Let them get in the shallow part of the pool while you instruct them on pool safety. Let your child partner up with their sibling or friend and have one of them act out what you just said while the other one follows suit.

Be Repetitive

Most young children retain facts when they are repeated over and over. Start by coming up with five basic pool safety tips. It really shouldn't be any more than five. This is why shows like Sesame Street are so effective. Instead of just repeating the facts over and over, try making each point into a song or sing-song verse. This can work even if all you do is sing what you want to say. If you make it fun and repeat your basic points enough, your child should be able to retain some basic pool safety tips.

Make a Game Out of It

Young children tend to learn when it is perceived as being fun. This is the same concept that most schools use for young children, so why not extend it to the pool? Gauge the games you come up with according the age of the child. It can be something simply like let's see how fast you can get your inflatable armbands on. You can also make a little quiz game out of it and ask questions. This works best if you do this with a small group of children. You can even give them a small prize for each correct response.

Teach Your Children to Swim

The best way to be safe in the pool is to know how to swim. If you are not comfortable teaching your child to swim, you can easily find a swim course for parents and children at your local YMCA or other community organizations. Make sure your children know how far they can go in the pool. Even if your child learns how to swim, deeper parts of the pool may be too much for some young children to handle.

Set Family Pool Rules

Children tend to follow the example of others. This is true when it comes to pool safety. Establish family pool rules. These rules should be clearly written out on poster board or a large piece of cardboard so that they are clearly visible. Go over the rules for young children not able to read yet. Be firm and insist that everybody in the family follow the rules. This includes older children and adults too. If young children see that the whole family is on board, they are more likely to follow the rules.

You don't want to make the pool something to fear. You want to make it fun and keep it simple. The idea of teaching pool safety to young children is to instill basic pool safety at a young age to develop habits that will hopefully continue into adulthood.

Author Bio
Bob Quigly is a landscaping and family fun enthusiast
who writes on a variety of blogs for above ground pools from Backyard


  1. Excellent tips - We swim alot during the summer and these tips are crucial. thanks Athena

  2. Great tips, pool safety is very important when you have little ones


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