For people between the ages 5 thru 24, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death. By following a few basic water safety guidelines, you can help ensure that your kids have fun and stay safe while in the water.
Never Swim AloneTeach your children that they should never enter the water alone. Always swim with another person. Even the most experienced swimmers get tired. By swimming with another person, you can make sure that you are able to help each other out in the case of an emergency.
Know What You Can Do
Sure, it's tempting for a child to try to swim as far as an older sibling or want to stay in the water long after they are tired. But, children need to know their limits. Tell them not to swim out further or longer than they are able to do. Tell them that it is not a competition, rather a fun way to spend an afternoon outside.
There Needs to be an AdultThere always needs to be an adult present. And watching the kids in the pool. A common, and often deadly, misconception is that if a group of adults is out around the pool, then someone must be watching the kids. Never assume that someone will watch the kids. Take turns with other adults at watching children. If you are watching a large group, do frequent head counts to ensure that everyone is accounted for.
Get SkilledYou never know when an emergency is going to strike. It is a good idea to learn some life-saving skills such as CPR. Check with your local YMCA or Red Cross for available children's courses.
Swim in Safe Areas OnlySwimming in an open body of water such as a lake or the ocean is different than swimming in a pool. Know the area in which you are swimming. Some lakes can drop off unexpectedly. Others may have locations that are not suitable for locations. Never swim near dams. Stay out of the water after a heavy rain, or when flooding has occurred.
Elementary Years Parenting Examiner Melissa Austin is a proud mother and full-time freelance writer located in Dekalb, IL.
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