In our last post, we talked about why swim lessons are important. One of the reasons given in that post was water safety. Even though there is a difference in being water safe and knowing how to swim, the two go hand in hand.
As mentioned previously, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in young people.
Whether you’re a strong swimmer or still learning how to swim, the best thing you can do is become water conscious. Drowning incidents occur in seconds so having a plan in place to help you stay safe is critical.
Here are 12 tips that can help you and your family be water safe:
Educate children and adults about water safety. The more people who are educated on water safety, the better.
Never leave a child unattended near a pool, lake, river, ocean or any body of water. Regardless of the child’s skill level, there is no substitute for adult supervision. All parents have experienced how quickly young children find a bit of mischief, I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “don’t turn your back even for one second”. The same goes for water, all it takes is a second for the unthinkable.
It’s important to be aware that nobody in water is too small. This means a child can drown in inches of water in a bathtub, a toilet, in standing water on a hot tub cover, a bucket of water, etc. In fact, a child can drown in any amount of water enough to cover the mouth and nose. It’s important to remember to never let your guard down when water is involved.
Swim near a lifeguard whenever possible and only swim in designated swimming areas. If you live in an apartment complex, pay close attention to the pool rules. There is usually no lifeguard on duty so adhering to the pool rules is of major importance.
If you’re hosting a gathering involving a pool (and there are no lifeguards present) be sure to designate a “Water Watcher” to maintain constant supervision over children. Social events are a time to gather and enjoy each other’s company however; when water is involved a joyful conversation, busied food prep, and other hosting responsibilities can be a detrimental distraction. Please caution, a “Water Watcher” is no replacement for a trained and certified lifeguard.
If you have a backyard pool, the home should be isolated from the pool with a fence at least five feet tall, with a self-closing, self-latching gate. The gate should open away from the pool and should never be propped open. Another safety tool is a pool alarm, one that will alert any disruption to the water. Power-operated pool safety covers are another option that is convenient and efficient. As mentioned above, there is no substitute for adult supervision so always keep a close eye. Here are some great pool covers to check out: https://www.amazon.com/slp/in-ground-pool-covers/wqxxx4nyqyg589j
Keep a phone near the pool so that you can quickly call for help if need be. Quick response time in emergencies can lead to a greater chance of positive outcomes in water-related accidents.
Learn CPR and rescue breathing. CPR and rescue techniques are important skills and values to have when spending a lot of time near bodies of water or with children in general. It is recommended that water watchers take a CPR class so that they may know how to respond should an accident occur under their supervision.
Keep a life-saving ring, shepherd’s hook and CPR instructions mounted poolside.
Only use proper and approved floatation devices. Do not confuse proper and approved floatation devices with toys. Inflatable floatation devices can be hazardous and unreliable. US Coast Guard-approved life jackets and puddle jumpers are the most recommended.
Remove toys from in and around the pool when it’s not in use and don’t use floating chlorine dispensers that look like toys. You don’t want to give your kiddos any temptation to try and get in that pool!
All parents need a date night! When leaving children in the care of another adult such as a relative or a babysitter, be sure to inform that adult about any potential pool hazards. Emphasize the need for constant supervision and review any pool rules you have with the sitter.
The responsibility of owning a pool includes ensuring children in the home learn to swim, and that adults know CPR. Do not consider children “drown proof” because they’ve had swimming lessons.
The steps listed to ensure water safety are simple yet critical. Water safety starts with awareness and a desire to be water safety conscious. Water is fun but we must work to keep ourselves safe!
Just like they say, “It takes a village to raise a child.”, it also takes a village to keep them safe!
Now it is your turn.
Which of these 12 steps are you going to put in place for your family first?. Please comment below and let us know any other steps that would be helpful to keep people safe around the water.