7 Family Water Safety Tips to Help You Keep the Kids Safe While Swimming
As we enter summer and kick off swim season, we must recognize the importance of family water safety. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old. And most children with nonfatal drowning injuries require emergency room care.
So, how do you keep children safe around the water in your backyard? Follow along with these seven tips for a safe summer:
1. Keep an Eye on Those Swimming
Always be available, alert, and aware. It’s especially important to watch younger children, but even strong swimmers could end up needing help.
It’s not enough to rely on floaties or even a posted lifeguard. Whenever you’re having a fun family pool day, make sure someone in your group is monitoring the water.
Your water watcher should stay off their cell phone, avoid drinking alcohol, and stay focused on their task. To make sure everyone has a chance to have fun, take turns watching the water.
2. Equip Your Pool Area
With the right preparations, you can keep your children away from the pool when you aren’t able to supervise them.
Putting up a fence around the pool area is a good place to start. Your pool fence should surround all sides of the pool, be at least four feet tall, and be equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates.
For even more protection, consider installing alarms that sound when someone opens the door or even when someone enters the pool.
3. Be Prepared For Any Emergency
No matter how vigilant you are, accidents can happen. When an emergency comes up, it’s crucial that we know how to handle it.
If your young child falls into the pool or someone starts to drown, take action immediately. If you are a trained swimmer and can carry the person safely, you can jump in and try to bring them back to the pool edge.
In many cases, this might not be safe. The drowning person may panic and pull you in with them or they may simply be too heavy for you to hold while swimming. Instead, you could reach out to them with a life preserver, rope, stick, or pool noodle. Encourage them to grab hold and use it to pull them to the pool edge.
Call emergency services and check their breathing and responsiveness. Administer CPR if necessary and continue monitoring their condition until medical help arrives.
Don’t know CPR? Learning this essential life skill is one of the best things you can do for your family’s water safety.
4. Choose Swimsuits With Visible Colors
When supervising swimmers, you need to have visibility of everyone at all times.
Make sure that you can see your children, even when they’re deep under the water, by choosing swimsuits in visible colors. According to a test conducted by Alive Solutions Inc., neon pink and neon orange are the best options, as these easily stand out underwater.
5. Avoid Pushing the Pooltime Fun Too Far
Remind your kids about safe ways to play in the pool and what should be avoided before jumping in.
Avoid dangerous games like breath-holding contests, dunking, or racing around the pool. Don’t dive in shallow water. Don’t use mermaid tails or fins in the water – they may look fun, but they aren’t safe for swimming.
6. Get Out of the Water at the First Sign of a Storm
If you see lightning or hear thunder, it’s best to get out of the pool right away. There may be a few grumbles over having to end the fun early, but it’s safest for everyone to stay away from water if there’s a storm on the way.
Always stay aware of weather conditions by using a lightning strike alert app/a>. These give you all the details about lightning in the area, so you can avoid being in the pool at the wrong time.
Once you’ve got sunny skies again, feel free to make a splash.
7. Sign Up for Swim Lessons
Swimming is an important life skill and lessons could help save your children’s lives. Everyone in the family should know how to float and tread water at a minimum.
When they’re ready, sign your children up for swimming lessons. They’ll have more fun at the pool once they know how to swim. Just remember that even after they’ve received swim lessons, you should still supervise them and step in when needed.
Safe Swimming Can Save Lives
We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy spending summer by the pool, safely. We hope that these family water safety tips help you have good poolside experiences this summer.
Want to help families like your own? Through Ledge Loves, we offer swim lessons to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them. With your swim lesson donations, we are able to support safe swimming and save lives in our community.
Be a Part of the Ledge Loves Mission