Pools are awesome! What could be better than a dip in the pool and fun in the sun? But remember a pool's sides and bottom are usually made of concrete, a rock-hard material. A slip or fall could be painful and dangerous.
Have you seen those big numbers painted on the side of the pool? Those are called depth markers — they tell you how deep the water is at that point. You should always look before you jump into a pool. You should also only dive off the diving board. Never dive off the side of the pool unless an adult says that the water is deep enough. The water may be shallower than you think. If you hit the bottom . . . ouch! You might get knocked out or you could hurt your neck very badly.
Test the pool's water temperature before you plunge in. Cold water can shock your body and make your blood pressure and heart rate go up. You might accidentally open your mouth to yell and accidentally breathe in some water. Cold water can also slow your muscles, making it hard to swim.
Here's some other good advice for the pool:
- Always have an adult watch you when you are in the pool — even in your own backyard. Never go in the pool if there is no adult around.
- Gates are around pools for a reason — to keep kids away from the water when there isn't a lifeguard or adult around to watch them. Never go through any pool gates when they are closed. Stay safe and stay out!
- Always obey pool rules.
- Swim with a buddy.
- If you're learning to swim, ask your mom or dad to make sure your flotation devices are Coast Guard approved.
- Walk slowly in the pool area. Don't run.
- Swim at a depth that is safe for you. If you're just learning to swim, stay in the shallow end.
- Don't push or jump on others. You could accidentally hurt someone or yourself.
- Toys to help you float come in many shapes and sizes (an inner tube, air mattress, or beach ball, for example). Although they are fun and can help you while you learn to swim, what they can't do is save a life. They're toys that can lose air or float away.
- Don't chew gum or eat while you swim — you could choke.