Are you a ‘buy every child safety product on the market’ parent or a ‘well, a few bumps won’t kill them’ parent? Is every table in your house surrounded with foam padding or do you silently curse when you are visiting someone with an indecipherable toilet lock?
We all want to keep kids safe, but the huge range of options can be overwhelming, and often inspire only the feeling of, ‘are you kidding me?!?!‘ But what happens if you don’t buy every child safety device and your child is hurt? The cost-benefit analysis that all of us process in our head usually has a bottom line of ‘could I live with myself if this product would have kept my child alive but I didn’t buy it?‘ When it comes to pool safety how do you know what is enough and what is too much?
Keeping kids safe is not for the faint of heart. But then again, neither is parenting. I admit I’m more at the ‘well, I’ve cautioned them over and over and maybe they have to learn that if they throw themselves at their sibling and land on the corner of the (padded) sofa, they might end up with a black eye’ (that would be my child last week). Did I want them to learn that lesson the hard way? Heck no!!!! Did I diligently alternate applying and Arnica for the next 2 hours trying to control the damage while wallowing in a sea of agony and guilt? Of course!
I may be relaxed about some dangers, but I have always been hyper-vigilant when it comes to water safety. After all, a child can drown in 2 minutes in 2 inches of water. It’s not a black eye were talking about, it’s permanent brain damage or death. The great news is that some excellent organizations have taken the guesswork out of pool safety. The best resources is the website http://www.poolsafely.govdeveloped by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. At a minimum, if you have a pool, you should have the following:
All good if the pool is yours, but what about visiting grandparents or friends who don’t have all a fence or alarm? You can also bring an alarm with you. Safety Turtle is a great option. Most importantly though, walk your child to the unfamiliar pool and explain why they can’t go near the pool without you, and then be extra vigilant, because the lure of the pool will be strong.
Having access to a pool can instill a life-long love of water and a strong understanding of how to be safe around water in your child, just make sure they live long enough to enjoy it.