The Push For Pool and Spa Safety

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The pool and spa industry, manufacturers, national safety councils/leagues and departments of health and safety help homeowners understand the risks involved with pools by demonstrating what can be done to prevent incidents. Despite the many different techniques, products and materials available, everyone agrees on one issue: Layers of protection offer the best insurance.
The most important  layer pool owners should provide is caretaker caution. Many water accidents occur because one parent “thinks” the other parent is watching the child, and vice versa. Always appoint a designated poolside caretaker.

Swim classes are available across the country. National groups, local community pools and private swim instructors help people of all ages learn to swim. A surprising number of adults can’t swim, yet they enjoy their backyard pools in many other ways. Make sure you and your family members know how to swim. You don’t have to swim laps or compete with anyone; just make sure you can swim to safety.

Teaching children to swim early in life adds another layer of protection. Benefits of swimming lessons extend far beyond reducing accident risk: An early swimmer has more confidence throughout life, and the physical benefits of working young muscles in a pool are beyond comparison.

Florida’s Palm Beach County is home to some of the world’s innovators in swim instruction for infants and children. Rob McKay, president of the Lifestyle Swim School in Boca Raton, Fla., and heralded as an expert with young children, offers swimming lectures across the globe. He says several key points can determine a child’s acceptance of swimming.

“Make it fun,” he says. “Infants and toddlers have a natural love of water and water-play. Forcing can be traumatic. Fears must be overcome before children accept water as a comfortable habitat. Parents should be in the pool with their children during lessons,  he advises. “They know the child’s moods better than anyone, and it provides added security, making children relaxed and willing to participate.

Rob begins by working on above-water skills, including kicking, blowing bubbles, shimmying along the gutter and getting the face wet in playful activity. He suggests lessons be short. Learning and physical activity at these ages is tiring – 15- to 30-minute lessons is ample.

Once you know how to swim, never do it alone. A bump on the head, a mouthful of water, and other seemingly trivial events have been known to cause devastating accidents.

Carefully build your layers of protection with this advice, and with products that can help insure the safety of those you love.

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