Now, as committed as you may be to keeping an eye on your kids at all times, the harsh reality is that kids don’t always listen; they can be sneaky and they can be strong-minded, and every now and again when you aren’t watching them, they can end up outside near a swimming pool. When it comes to pool safety tips, Kaye argues “the most effective drowning prevention strategy is to cut off the access by completely surrounding pools and spas with fences that isolate the water from the house.” In other words, if you have a swimming pool in your yard, you need to keep that pool completely enclosed by a safety fence (with a self-closing child lock). In addition to keeping your pool secure with appropriate barriers, it’s also crucial that you keep all pool drains and pipes covered so that your kids cannot get stuck. Keeping your pool safe is a top priority to ensure the well being of your family.

Unfortunately, accidents can happen even in the safest pool environment, which is why it’s incredibly important that your children learn to swim and learn to practice smart habits in the water. In some parts of the world babies learn water survival even before they can walk. We’re not saying you need to take such drastic measures, but you should absolutely provide your kids with some formal swimming instruction when they are ready. In fact, as the Washington Post states, “a 2009 U.S. study found an 88 percent reduction in drowning risk in kids ages 1 to 4 who had taken swimming lessons.” And beyond the benefits for your kids, it’s great for parents to participate in or observe swim lessons so you can also learn the proper safety measures and ways to guide your kids in the pool.