R has taken swim lessons for several years now, and in addition to learning how to swim, he has learned a great deal about water safety. I realize that professional swim lessons aren't an option for every family, but it is important for all children to know how to swim and to know the basic rules of water safety. Even after swim lessons are over, I make it a priority to continuously talk to R about how to stay safe in and around water. Because this is such an important topic, I would like to share some of the basic rules that we discuss.
Also, CPR certification is a great thing to have. Those of you in the United States can find classes near you by visiting The American Red Cross website. Your local chapter may also provide water safety classes and swimming lessons for children.
And remember, drowning doesn't always look like drowning. For more information you can visit this post.
10 Water Safety Tips for Kids:
1. Always swim with a buddy in a supervised area. Don't enter any body of water without permission and supervision.
2. Follow pool rules. This typically includes no running, no horseplay, and no glass containers in or near the pool.
3. Look before you leap. Before you jump in, look in the water to make sure there's no debris or people in your path. Also look for depth. In a pool, the depth is marked with a number. The higher the number, the deeper the water.
4. Don't dive into shallow areas of the pool, or into lakes and rivers. Lakes and rivers can have weeds and grass that can trap even the best of swimmers.
5. Stay calm and think so you don't sink. Stop and think about what you should do if you find yourself struggling in the water.
6. Reach or throw. Don't go. If you see someone that needs help, you shouldn't jump in the water to help them because they could panic and hold you down. Instead, throw something that floats, or lay down on the side of the pool and reach for them. You should lay down so you don't fall in while reaching.
7. Don't go swimming when it's cold. Cold temperatures can be dangerous.
8. Learn about boating before you go. Make sure the boat has everything you may need. This includes a first aid kit, an anchor, oars, a map, flashlight, and food and water. And always wear your life jacket! Don't just pack it. Wear it.
9. No playing around drain pipes or suction fittings. These can be very dangerous places and should always be avoided.
10. Know what to do in an emergency. Talk about what you should do if someone is in trouble in the water. Know how to get help and how to call 9-1-1.
Have a happy and safe summer!