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Keeping kids safe while enjoying the pool

Summer is here and with many public pools staying closed for the summer, backyard pools will be busy.

TOLEDO, Ohio — After birth defects, drowning is the number one cause of death for children ages one to four. Experts say many of these children die in backyard pools, often times when no one was supposed to be swimming. 

"Things are going to be different this summer and I'm worried about kids being bored and parents being distracted and all the things that can happen," said Nicole Knepper, Outreach Coordinator for Mercy Health. 

There are no lifeguards on duty at a backyard pool. That's why experts say if kids are going to be swimming, an adult needs to be assigned to watch at all times. 

"Make sure someone is designated and they know that's their job. And they can't be on their cellphone. They can't be distracted reading a book. They need to be making sure that children are safe," said Knepper.

Also, experts say kids should take swim lessons, which might be challenging during the pandemic while many businesses have been closed. 

Experts also recommend learning CPR in case something were to happen. Plus, something you may not have considered.

"Keep toys out of the pool when it's not in use because kids are going to see the toys, want to go after them and maybe try to reach into the pool and accidentally fall," said Knepper.

If you have small pools for toddlers, experts said to turn them over and dump the water out when not in use. 

They say all pools should have fences around all four sides that can't be climbed and with a self-closing and self-latching gate.

"We think, 'I would notice if my child is drowning.' But it really is silent. They get submerged under the water. Horrible situations, so we want to make sure we take all the steps to prevent that from happening," Knepper said.

Experts add, if you got a pool this year let your neighbors know, especially if they have young kids. 

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