Keep Your Kids Water Safe This Summer! By Rachel Newmark
Our blog today comes from Rachel Newmark, COO of SafeSplash Swim Schools, with some important safety tips and suggestions for keeping your little ones safe in and around the water this summer. With temperatures rising, we know we will be spending lots of time in the pool. Drownings are often preventable accidents and all parents should take steps to keep their children safe in and around the water. Here are some easy steps to follow to ensure that your family is safe.
EASY STEPS FOR FAMILY WATER SAFETY
Remove risks at your home
Never leave a child alone in the bathtub. Always keep your eyes on them when they are in the water.
Install locked gates and barriers around home pools to remove access to water.
Drain kiddie pools after each use.
Know where water hazards are in your community and around your home. Ponds, creeks or streams, other pools, ditches, etc. all pose drowning risks and should be avoided.
Know how to identify and respond to an emergency
Train yourself in CPR/First Aid/AED. Courses are available on line, in hospitals and local YMCAs. Know what to do if someone has ingested water, can’t breathe or becomes unresponsive.
If you see a child struggling in the pool and you can swim, jump in to pull them to safety. If you cannot swim, throw a stick or a pole out to them to pull them to safety.
When you get the victim on the pool deck or shore, check for responsiveness and skin color. If they are not breathing and skin is turning blue, begin CPR while someone calls 911.
Tell your children not to try to save another child if they are in trouble in the water. The reason is because they will pull them down while trying to save themselves. Call for help and get to a safe spot.
Talk to your children about practicing water safety
Make family rules for pools.
Rule 1: No one is to go in the water without the OK from you. This will ensure that you are ready to supervise them in the water.
Rule 2: Tell your children to only swim in areas supervised by lifeguards (point to a lifeguard on deck) and within your vision.
Rule 3: Never run on a pool deck as it can be slippery.
Rule 4: Always swim with a buddy because they can get help if needed.
Rule 5: Rough play is never permitted in or around the pool.
Tell your kids to observe the pool and not to go in if it appears cloudy, unsafe or too deep.
Assess your kids periodically while swimming. Have them come out and check in with you every so often. If they are too tired, too cold, too far from safety or have had too much sun, do not let them go back in because they may be in a weakened state and this could prevent them from being able to save themselves.
Never leave a child unsupervised (even if he/she is just sitting on the side), do not trust a child’s life to another child, a lifeguard or to aids or flotation devices.
Arrive at the pool prepared for the day. Sun tan lotion, towels, goggles, swim caps to keep hair out of eyes, water to rehydrate and shoes for slippery decks.
MOST IMPORTANT DROWNING PREVENTION….
Teach your kids how to swim.
Lastly, teach your kids how to swim. While we would love to have you join us here at SafeSplash, if not with us, please find someone to teach your children the water safety basics.
At all of our SafeSplash locations, we teach children important aquatics skills to keep them safe and healthy. We start with how to submerge their heads and bodies underwater and breathe properly. We teach them how to float on their backs and stomachs to not only give the foundations for strokes, but to save themselves if they are out in a body of water and can’t get to the side. We teach them how to jump in and recover, which simulates what to do if you fall into the pool accidentally. From there, they progress and learn strokes, all while having fun and getting good, low impact exercise.
Teaching your children how to swim and be water safe could save their lives one day.