Outdoor pools can provide hours of fun, but pools can be extremely dangerous. Particularly since children see pools as places of recreation, having a pool around is a constant temptation for them.

Everybody needs to do their part to ensure child safety. According to Parents Magazine, it is important for pool-owning parents to have a “water watcher” on duty, ensuring that your children take swim lessons and have an emergency plan in place.

What is a water watcher?

Think of a water watcher like an unofficial lifeguard. At many group gatherings, nobody is directly assigned the task of “water watcher” because the group assumes that “everybody is watching the kids.” In reality, if nobody is specifically watching the kids, that means that nobody is watching them.

Many organizations advocate for people having a literal “water watcher” badge that gets passed around between parents so that there is no confusion regarding who is on duty and who has their eyes on the pool.

How do swim lessons help?

No amount of swim lessons will prevent drowning entirely, but having your children be comfortable in the water does reduce the likelihood. A good rule is to get your child on the calendar for swim lessons between the ages of one and four, depending on the readiness of the child. If you are not sure how ready your child is, talk about it with your pediatrician.

An emergency plan is vital. If you own a pool, consider getting lessons in CPR. Having a sign in the vicinity of your pool with CPR instructions as well as your address in case somebody needs to place a call to 911 is also a good idea.