How wade pools can pose big risk to small children

With summertime in clear swing and community pools closed due to COVID-19, families are turning to small wade pools to cool their kids off. But pediatricians and water safety advocates say those small pools can pose a big risk to kids.

A big problem is leaving the pools in your front yard or anywhere, you can watch your kids closely, never take your eyes off the water and still experience a tragedy.

Christi Brown, who lost her son to drowning, is now working hard to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Brown created the Judah Brown project. Their purpose is to "provide funding for survival swim instruction for children under 6, traditional swim lessons for children over 6, CPR certification, and other lifesaving education to families to help prevent children from drowning."

The average depth of water a child drowns in is just 18 inches, and 70% of drownings happen when swim time is over.

For those reasons, Brown recommends the following:

  • Always have a water watcher who pays attention to the pool without distraction
  • Never leave your kids alone in a wade pool, even for a moment
  • When you are done playing in the pool, empty the water and put the pool away

For families that leave the pools up, especially in the front yard, it only takes an instant for a neighborhood child to get into serious trouble.

One of the best things you can do to prevent drownings is to designate a water watcher. Brown says a water watcher is someone who will not be distracted by a phone or anything else. Their job is to watch the water at all times. She recommends rotating the job to other adults every 15 minutes.

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