Summer is right around the corner and the Winter is the best time to review pool safety! By learning some important safe swimming tips, you can keep the whole family safe, while still having a great time.
Learn to swim
The best way to ensure that everyone in your family is safe in the water is to learn to swim. Believe it or not, even tiny babies can be taught to swim and float. Every City provides local lessons.
Watch your children
Never leave your children unsupervised in or near the water. Even if you think they are just playing in the sand, don’t turn your back on them. It only takes a few seconds for a child to drown and it can happen in even the shallowest water.
Older children with good swimming skills and adults should always buddy up when swimming. Even good swimmers can get very tired or accidentally caught in a riptide. With the buddy system, someone is always looking out for you.
Follow the rules
Always obey all rules when swimming in both lakes and pools. If you model good behavior, your children will learn to respect the rules as well. Here are a few swimming no-no’s:
- Never dive into shallow water.
- Never run near the edge of a pool.
- Never swim in a pool that does not have a lifeguard.
- Never swim alone.
- Never swim in places that are not meant for swimming.
- Never leave children unattended near any body of water.
It’s hard to imagine if you haven’t witnessed drowning up close, but drowning is actually a very quiet and shockingly undramatic experience. People who are drowning are not physically or psychologically able to call for help. This is why drowning is the number two cause of accidental death in children under the age of 15 — and half of the children who drown are within 25 yards of a parent or another adult.
You can learn more about how to recognize and rescue a drowning person in a swimming safety class. And of course, make sure to stay close to your children and pay close attention to them at all times when they are playing in or near the water.
In case of emergency, it’s always good to be prepared. Classes in CPR and life-saving rescue techniques are available for swimmers of every level. Check with the American Red Cross for a class near you.