Parents with pools urged to carefully supervise children without other distractions
TORONTO -- A new pool safety survey is urging parents with pools to supervise children while swimming without any other distraction.
The survey by Allstate Insurance found that many people who have a pool, or are thinking to get one, are planning to work from home this summer and supervise their children swimming while they work.
The survey found 39 per cent of Canadian parents are working from home this summer and 49 per cent plan to supervise their children's pool time while also working from home.
Lifesaving Society, a group that works to prevent drownings and water related injuries, says those numbers are troubling.
The group says a child can drown in less than 30 seconds and so multitasking and supervising children is not a good idea.
“The struggle is not at the surface. You don't get a lot of splashing or calling for help. These kids can slip under the water and the parents may not even see them," said Wendy Schultenkamper, the national spokesperson for the Lifesaving Society.
The survey also found that in 25 per cent of backyard pool-related drownings, adults were present but distracted.
“So they were on their phones, they were reading a book they quickly ran into grab something and came back" Schultenkamper said.
The Gervasi family of King City, Ont. say they have a backyard pool and hired a lifeguard to come to their home to give their children nine-yea- old Alyssa and six-year-old Jessie swimming lessons.
Melissa Gervasi has had to spend a lot more time working from home and says it's important for her to make sure her children are good swimmers.
“It's definitely a huge survival skill and I always tell my friends and family that kids, as well as adults, should know how to swim because you never know what can happen," Gervasi said.
The best advice for anyone with a pool: If your children are using it then an adult should be there at all times to supervise.
“If kids are going to be in the pool take that time away from work and away from devices and focus on the children," Schultenkamper said.