Summer is a great time for the kids to get outdoors and cool off with a swim. Today I have Jennifer from MomTricks on the blog sharing some important water safety tips for the family.
Hello everyone! I’m so happy that summer is here; it’s my favorite time of the year, and it’s such a wonderful time to spend outdoors with my 2 wonderful kiddos. If your family is anything like mine, spending an afternoon at the beach or pool is one of your favorite ways to cool off on a hot summer day.
But safety is a true concern: every year hundreds of children drown in accidents that could have been avoided with proper safety training. I believe water safety is extremely important and we should all teach our children how to stay safe when beating the heat in the water this summer.
Water Safety at the Pool
Regardless of where you are, it’s important to teach your kids not to run, push around, or dive in unmarked areas. Flat drain grates can entrap your long hair, and loose wiring can electrocute you. And pool chemicals like chlorine can make you sick.
“Parents should never leave a child unattended. They should watch their children closely under supervision with lifeguards,” said Jeff Moffitt, of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department in Gainesville, Florida, for 15 years. He’s also in charge of the Sports Division, which includes Aquatics and Athletics.
“In addition, parents should enroll their children in swimming lessons as early as possible. Learning how to swim is one of the biggest factors in preventing accidental drowning. Parents should also learn CPR.”
“We also encourage parents to complete a basic Water Rescue class through the American Red Cross, which teaches them introductory and basic water skills,” advised Moffitt. “Parents should also learn the signs of a distressed or tired swimmer, so that they know when their child may be at risk for an aquatic emergency.”
He taught his own two children at home to practice these water safety tips. “I put them both in swim lessons when they were six months old. As an aquatic professional, I have advanced aquatic and lifesaving training, which definitely helps in my personal life.”
In case of a water emergency, carry a cellphone with a quick-dial feature. To save additional seconds, program 911 and/or your local emergency centre. If you receive a call while supervising children, keep your conversation brief.
Post emergency numbers on the phone. After your kids are finished playing with pool toys, remove them and put them away so they won’t collect water. If you have a backyard pool, fencing is your best means of protection to keep children from falling in.
Outdoor hazards at lakes, ponds and oceans
Swimming in a lake, a pond or an ocean is different from the swimming pool; each has their own dangerous hazards. Your kids should use the buddy system and never swim alone. Though the depth of water often increases father from the shore, it’s usually shallow near the bank.
Jagged rocks, broken glass, or trash are hidden dangers. Make your children wear foot protection like aqua socks or water shoes. Weeds and grass can tangle a leg or arm if they don’t watch out.
Lurking beach dangers
Your children should swim only when a lifeguard is on duty. If they’re close to piers or pilings, sudden water movements may cause swimmers to collide with them. Check with the lifeguard about water conditions like currents and tides.
Tell your children not to stand with their back to the water, because a sudden wave could knock them over. Don’t allow them to swim in large waves or undertows. If they’re caught in them, teach them to swim parallel to shore or tread water and call for help.
They should watch out for jellyfish’s painful stings. If stung, they should immediately tell an adult.
Follow these simple tips for a fun and joyful summer. Remember these three points:
- supervise your children at all times
- enroll your children in swimming lessons
- learn CPR.
All three of these things will save lives this summer!
Jennifer is the parent of two young children and writes on a variety of topics relating to pregnancy and caring for babies and young children at Mom Tricks.