Warm weather means fun in the pool. As soon as your little ones are moving around on their own, diligence around water should begin. Water lessons start as early as six months old and each child's comfort level differs. As you kick off the summer swim season, use these tips from the Safe Kids Coalition to keep your babies safe in and around the water.
1. Actively Supervise
Many times tragedy strikes when the supervision seems plentiful. Everyone relaxes at the family pool party when there are plenty of adults around. Everyone thinks that everyone else is watching, but no one really is. Safe Kids Worldwide suggests the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision. The Water Watcher wears a lanyard that designates them them adult "on duty." You can download the Water Watcher card HERE
2. Always Swim with a Buddy
This is true for every skill level in the water. The seasoned swimmer should still never swim alone. Teach this and practice this with your children. Children should learn at a very young age to never go in or near the water without a buddy.
We all have busy lives. But, CPR is an important skill for every parent to have. In an emergency situation it will buy you time (precious, life-saving time) before the paramedics arrive at the scene.
4. Check the Drain
According to Safe Kids Worldwide, pools that pose the greatest risk of entrapment are children’s public wading pools, in-ground hot tubs, or any other pools that have flat drain grates or a single main drain system. Talk to your kid about the dangers of the drain. The suction may fascinate them and draw their attention. Point out the drain in the pool and tell them to stay away from it. Help them understand the dangers of entrapment.
5. Pool Toys
Remember that swimming aids such as water wings or noodles are fun toys for kids, but they should never be used in place of a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD). If your child needs a floatation device while in the water, use an appropriate one.