Your backyard pool can be a terrific & safe area to hang out with your baby, helping you to avoid the many hazards that can accompany taking your infant to the beach! The pool is a great place for babies and toddlers to play and get plenty of multisensory stimulation, but it also presents some problems (even dangers) of its own. To make sure that your child can safely enjoy your swimming pool, you should think ahead about some required safety precautions, just like you would when having your child get involved with any other activity or environment.
Help Prevent Infants from Drowning
The group most at risk of drowning is infants and toddlers. In fact, drowning occurs more frequently in backyard swimming pools than in any other body of water, and drowning is the primary cause of death for children under the age of four. One of the many things you can do to lessen the likelihood that your child will be among those awful statistics is to always make sure you’re within an arm’s reach of them whenever they’re in the pool, and to pay extra attention to them whenever they’re even close to the pool (such as walking down the deck alongside the pool).
Because drowning is a risk that young children encounter frequently, it would be wise for you to enroll in a First Aid/CPR/AED course from a group like the Red Cross so that you’re well equipped to handle any situation that arises. Giving your child rescue breathing and CPR right away will increase their chances of survival until emergency responders are able to arrive to help.
Staying close to your child at all times in the pool is crucial. A pool float could be useful if your infant would rather be free to move around the water without your continually holding them; however, even with a float, you should still remain within an arm’s reach of them.
Minimize Water Contamination
Apart from the risk of drowning, another issue with babies in swimming pools is the possibility of leakage from diapers. Disposable and reusable swim diapers undoubtedly aid in preventing solid waste from getting into the pool, but they are not 100% effective at stopping all bacteria from seeping into the water, particularly when diarrhea is present. Other swimmers may then be at risk of contracting Crypto and other RWIs (recreational water illnesses).
By changing your infant often and keeping them out of the main pool when they have diarrhea, you can help lower the likelihood of these problems. When changing your baby’s diaper, always change them somewhere other than the immediate swimming pool area. You should also always wash your hands well and dispose of any diapers correctly. By making sure your baby doesn’t let pool water go into his or her mouth, you can protect them from bacteria that they may pick up from other babies and people.
Babies add extra splashes and excitement to your swimming pool, just as they add extra smiles to every aspect of life! They may, nevertheless, also increase the risk of water pollution and, when left unattended, can easily drown. Splashes and grins can continue this summer as long as you take the necessary precautions to keep your infant safe in and around the pool!
Keep Infants Out of the Sun
Exposure to direct sunlight is an additional risk for infants at the pool; the water’s ability to reflect the sunlight compounds this risk, making it much more likely that your baby will get sunburned faster while in and around the pool compared with being in waterless locations.
In addition to initially being uncomfortable and even painful, sunburn sustained in infancy raises your child’s risk of developing skin cancer down the road. The Skin Cancer Foundation cautions that because melanin, the skin’s natural sun protective pigment, is still developing in newborns, all baby skin tones are particularly vulnerable to sun damage.
Even though it’s ideal to keep your baby in the shade out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (during the hottest portion of the day), there are other precautions you may take to help provide additional protection from the blazing sun while playing in and around the pool. It is wise for your child to wear UV-blocking eyewear, light clothing covering the arms and legs, and a wide-brimmed hat to protect them from the sun’s rays.
Faithfully Use Sunscreen
Even though they should still spend as much time in the shade and be covered as much as possible, babies older than six months old can still benefit from having sunscreen applied to any exposed skin. The most important thing to look for in an infant-friendly sunscreen is that it should have an SPF of at least 15 and be water-resistant, broad-spectrum, and contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as active ingredients.
Ensure that any exposed skin on your child is thoroughly covered with sunscreen. Ears, necks, and the backs of hands are body parts that are easily neglected. It is recommended to apply sunscreen at least half an hour before going outside and to reapply it at least every two hours, or more frequently if there is any chance of exposure to water.
With my family, we burn easily, but we also tend to be faithful users of sunscreen; however, our shortcoming is that we usually forget to reapply sunscreen after having been in the sun or water for a couple hours. That is when we pay the price and end up repeatedly with sunburns.
Minimize Sun Exposure
If you want to make sure that your little ones don’t spend too much time in the sun, you might want to think about including a pergola or pavilion when planning your poolside landscaping. Another option if you’re not prepared for a building job is utilizing some large patio umbrellas. A lot of these have tilt functions, and some even have solar-powered LED lighting for better visibility at night. If not, you can at least bring along a supersized standard umbrella and lay it on the ground to help provide some shade for your child when you’re hanging out at your backyard pool.
This summer, is there anything more likely to make people grin than a contented infant having fun in the water? This swimming pool season, if you’ll be enjoying that special joy, you’ll want to make sure you take the necessary precautions to make your backyard pool be a safe place for babies and that the grownups are doing everything they can to keep it as safe as possible for your youngest swimmers.
We’ve looked at several ways that you can help to ensure the safety of your infant in and around your backyard pool. We’ve addressed the most frequent poolside hazards and discussed drowning prevention, caution when changing diapers, and limiting sun exposure. We’ll now briefly discuss two lesser-known hazards associated with swimming: dehydration and relaxation.
Keep Your Child Hydrated
A baby that drinks enough water will be less likely to consume chlorinated pool water, which can be harmful to their health. When they get close to one year old, babies might be ready for an insulated water bottle they can easily access when by the pool.
Formula or breast milk will provide infants under a year old with the majority of their fluids. One of the healthiest decisions a mother can make for her child is to breastfeed, according to the Surgeon General. Although there are no health hazards associated with nursing by the pool, your infant may be exposed to bacteria from the water if you breastfeed in a swimming pool or hot tub.
Naturally, older kids can enjoy a variety of frozen delights which will help to give them needed liquids while simultaneously cooling them off, but because choking is so common, babies might not be ready for those frozen treats. As an alternative, you might use ice ring teethers or a mesh teether with ice or frozen fruits inside for helping to cool them down on hot days.
Relax in the Water
Keeping older babies and toddlers securely amused in and around the pool is a necessary must if parents wish to enjoy a little relaxation time for themselves! Having a tiny wading pool or plastic tub on hand can be helpful when parents prefer to spend time outside the pool. With a shallow wading style pool, the infant is able to splash around in a few inches of water. (Remember that constant monitoring is still necessary; even an inch of water can cause a child to drown, and babies are particularly vulnerable in wading pools.)
Splash balls dipped in fresh water can be a useful substitute if a baby is particularly prone to ingesting that chlorinated pool water. Once you’ve added the balls to the plastic tub, you can proceed. Add almost any bath toy to the mix, and your baby will have endless ways to play, whether in the larger pool or the smaller wading pool.
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