Most babies love water, however, aside from the ever present risk of drowning, there are other things that can be dangerous to your baby in the pool.
One of the biggest concerns, particularly with babies two months and younger, is bacteria. That’s because very young babies don’t have immunity yet. If the pool, lake or river your child is in is harbouring unseen bacteria, it can lead to an upset tummy, which can be dangerous or even life threatening to a very young baby.
Babies under six months to a year also don’t have the ability to regulate their body temperature. So while it may be fine for you to swim in water that’s a little chilly, it can be very dangerous for a young baby. If your baby shivers, take him or her out of the water! Heat is also a problem however – children under five should never be put in hot water, such as a Jacuzzi. They pose a risk of overheating, which can be dangerous to your child.
Once your child is old enough for the pool, even if it’s a shallow splash pool, there is always the risk of drowning. Practice what experts call ‘touch safety’ by ensuring that you’re always within arm’s reach of your child. Get your child an approved flotation device, and if you’re holding your child, never go so deep into the water that your feet can’t touch the ground.
When your child is walking, teach them not to run near water – poolsides can be really slippy, and avoid beaches where there are large waves – even older children and adults can get knocked over easily.