Every day there is another story in the news of a young child drowning. Devastating. If you’ve had the experience of almost losing a child to drowning, you know that terrifying feeling. It can happen so quickly. Decades ago, we were first time parents on an outing with our three year old son who had been on a blanket right next to us. Until he wasn’t. We spotted him climbing the stairs on the high dive and had to fly in the pool to catch him as he jumped off. Another time, I was the young mother at the baby pool mindlessly chatting with someone next to me. In a flash, my toddler who had been walking in a baby pool had somehow lost her footing and was face down. These incidents happened so long ago but I can’t shake the memories.
Here are some safety tips we would like to share for the nanny world:
1. Make sure a nanny knows how to swim if you ask her to go to the pool with your child
2. Even if she isn’t a great swimmer, she still needs to be IN the pool not on the sidelines if her charge is in. That goes for parents, too!
3. CPR & First Aid certifications are a must!
4. Do not rely on lifeguards especially in high season when pools are overflowing with swimmers.
5. If there are multiple children, it is best for them to stay together– otherwise, someone is left unattended.
6. Make sure that non -swimmers have either floaties or vests on.
7. Sign up for swim lessons for your children– and your nanny
8. Make sure to go over pool rules. Rules differ at each public pool.
9. If the nanny isn’t comfortable putting on a swim suit and being in the water, then the pool should be off limits on her watch