Pools of all types can pose a safety risk for your kids. All it takes is a few seconds for an accident to happen when you’re not quite close enough or not paying as much attention to your children as you should be. On top of having pool covers, pool fences & safety nets, here’s what you can do to keep your kids safe around the pool

Keep your kids protected from entering the water when you’re not supervising

No matter the type or size of the pool, have some way to keep your kids out of the pool when they shouldn’t be in there. Even a small, plastic pool bought at a department store can pose a risk for young kids. This means you shouldn’t have a kiddy pool out filled with water if you’re not supervising the area closely. If you have a higher pool that requires a ladder for getting in, make sure the ladder is locked. In-ground pools need to have a pool cover and a safety fence around them whenever the pool is not in use. Don’t underestimate the risk that exists for an accident to happen–invest in the highest quality cover you can get.

Always supervise your kids

You may think that your kids are capable swimmers and that they always listen to what you say about staying safe. But really, many kids do not truly understand the consequences of playing around in the water, and if their friends are with them they will be even more likely to goof off. Keep your toddlers at an arm’s reach at all times and your older kids not much farther. You should be able to grab them quickly, should anything happen.

Don’t overestimate how much swimming lessons and floaties can help

Getting your kids into lessons is a good idea, since they’ll become more comfortable in the water and find that swimming can be fun when done safely. But you still need to supervise them when they’re young–you don’t know how much the lessons have really sunk in.

Flotation devices can be a great way, too, to help your kids feel safe in deeper water without your direct help. Relaxing on a foam matt is also a fun activity. But it’s easy enough for your kid to accidently lose grip, so you better stick around.

Overall, you need to keep pool water closed off whenever you’re not there, such as with Pool Covers, and supervise the rest of the time.