With the kids out of school for the summer it is time for summer fun. Summer fun often includes swimming in the water to beat the summer heat. Here are some tips for water safety that every parent should practice.
Being safe around water starts with knowing how to swim by enrolling your child in swim lesson. Your child will come into contact with water throughout their life and if they don’t know how to swim then they will be in danger when close to water. Once they learn to swim, swimming will be more safe as well as a pleasurable experience when they go to pool parties, boat trips, the beach or participate in any kind of water activity.
Be Water Safety Conscious
Beyond enrolling your child in swim lesson there are other things that can be done to be water safe. Such as:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy. Do not let anyone swim alone, even at public pools or at a beach where there is a lifeguard. Always use the buddy system!
- Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll your children in age appropriate swim lessons.
- Never ever leave a young child unattended near water.
- Never ever trust a child’s life to another child.
- Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Establish rules for children and enforce them no matter what. Examples of rules may be to set rules that are based on each child’s ability to swim and do not allow breath-holding contests.
- Even if you do not plan to swim, be cautious around natural bodies of water. This includes ocean shorelines, rivers, and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall in to these bodies of water dangerous.
- If you go boating, wear a life jacket. Most boating fatalities occur from drowning.
- Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgement, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
Maintain Constant Supervision
- Actively supervise kids whenever around the water – even if life guards are present.
- Always stay with-in arm’s reach of young children and avoid distractions when supervising children around water
Know What To Do In An Emergency
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- If you own a home pool or hot tub, have on hand appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
All of the safety tips for this article came from the Red Cross’s Water Safety page on their website. For additional information please visit their site.