Is there anything that brings more smiles this summer than a happy baby safely splashing around in the water? If you’ll be delighting in that particular joy this swimming pool season, you’ll want to make sure to take the steps needed to ensure that your backyard pool is a safe place for babies and that the adults do what they can to help keep it as safe as possible for your littlest swimmers.
From drowning prevention and careful diaper consideration (as we discussed in Part 1) to cautious sun exposure (as we discussed in Part 2), there’s plenty you can do to ensure babies are safe from the most common poolside dangers. Now we’ll take just a few minutes to address a few lesser-known risks related to spending time at the pool: hydration and relaxation.
A well-hydrated baby will be less likely to drink up chlorinated water, which can pose health risks. Babies nearing the 1-year mark may be ready for an insulated water bottle like a Camelbak Kids one that should last for many years. Infants under a year, though, will receive most of the hydration they need through formula or breast milk. According to the Surgeon General, breastfeeding is one of the healthiest choices a mother can offer babies. While poolside breastfeeding does not pose any health risks, though, breastfeeding while immersed in a swimming pool or hot tub may lead to exposing your baby to germs such water typically contains.
Older children, of course, can benefit from an assortment of frozen treats, but babies may not be ready due to the possibility of choking. Alternatives can be putting ice or frozen fruits in a mesh teether or using ice ring teethers for cooling purposes.
If parents want to enjoy a little relaxation, keeping older babies and toddlers safely entertained in and near the pool is a definite must! When parents want to hang out near the pool instead of inside it, keeping a small wading pool or plastic tub handy can be a help. The baby gets to splash in a few inches of water without an adult being in the big pool. (Be aware that supervision is still required, though; people of any age can drown in only an inch of water, and babies are especially susceptible to drowning.)
If a baby is especially prone to drinking that chlorinated pool water, splash balls soaked in fresh water can be a helpful alternative. Add them to the plastic tub, and you’re good to go! Pretty much any bath toys can be added to the mix, providing plenty of play options for baby — either in the main large pool or a smaller wading pool.
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