Summer is in full swing, meaning time outdoors and by the pool or at the beach is part of the program. Families with kids of all ages love this time of year when the sun is shining brightly and everyone can cool off by taking a much-needed dip. That said, along with the glorious fun comes the need to be proactive and responsible when it comes to swimming and water safety. Here are some ways to help ensure a safe summer for your children.
Kids can learn the basics of swimming from a very early age. If you are able to, invest in some swimming lessons in your area. Many of these courses are inexpensive, yet the value is immeasurable. Children will learn how to float and swim and how to become comfortable and at ease in the water. They will learn what to do when it comes to being safe and careful in the pool or ocean and they will be more confident swimmers lesson by lesson. If you are not a good swimmer, take some classes as well. Heaven forbid you need to go into the water after your child in an emergency, at least you’ll have the basic skills to swim to their aid.
Life Jacket or “Floaties”
If you have a small child or one who isn’t an advanced swimmer, wearing a life vest or jacket or “floaties” can be useful and potentially life-saving in the case of an unforeseen emergency. This type of swim gear will keep your child afloat if they venture out of the shallow area of the pool. Even if your child is a good swimmer, these floating devices offer another layer of security to give you peace of mind. Many kids love the fun colors and shapes now available, so you shouldn’t have an issue convincing your child to wear them.
Lifeguard on Duty
It is imperative that there is a trained lifeguard watching over the pool or other body of water your child is swimming in. Even the smallest pool can become hazardous in the blink of an eye. Of course, always keep an eye on your child yourself, but if there is no lifeguard in sight, save swim time for another day. It is not worth the risk in case of an accident. And if you are at a public pool or ocean and don’t see a lifeguard on duty, report it to the proper authority. Everyone’s safety could be at risk.
Bathing suits and swim trunks were invented for a reason. They are the proper and safest attire for swimming due to their unique construct and materials. Loose-fitting clothing like T-shirts or summer dresses are not appropriate or safe for swimming. The material can interfere with swimming maneuvers and could get caught in drains. Additionally, the article of clothing could float up over the child’s head causing suffocation. If you don’t have the right swimwear with you, forgo swimming and play in the sand instead.
Kids love the water, but safety is the top priority at all times. The safer the kids are, the more fun everyone can have knowing the day is well-managed and thoughtfully planned. That said, have fun swimming!
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By: Melissa A. Kay