For Infants, toddlers, and young children:
|·||To prevent drowning, empty all water from bathtubs and pails, keep the door to the bathroom closed and never leave your child alone near any container of water.|
|·||Use life jackets on boats at all times.|
|·||Child proof the swimming pool by enclosing it in a fence with a self-closing and self-latching gate and never leave your child alone in a swimming area, even if he is a “good swimmer”.|
A number of studies have found that children do not have the neuromuscular capacity to learn proper swimming skills until 4 or 5 years of age. Infant and toddler swimming programs should be regarded as a means to help children adjust to the pool environment, to focus on swimming readiness, and to introduce water safety instruction for parents.
For older children and adolescents:
When the weather turns warm, most kids want to be in or around the water. Being with friends and family at the pool or the beach on a hot day is a great way for our kids to beat the heat. For people between the ages of 5 and 24, drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Most water-related accidents can be avoided by knowing how to stay safe and following a few simple guidelines.
All children need to be supervised at all times while swimming!
|·||Swim in safe areas only. Make sure your kids are aware that it is a good idea to only swim in places that are supervised by a lifeguard or a responsible adult. No one can anticipate changing ocean currents, riptides, sudden storms, or other hidden dangers. In the event that something does go wrong, lifeguards are trained in rescue techniques.|
|·||Get skilled. Speaking of emergencies, it’s good to be prepared. Learning some life-saving techniques, such as CPR and rescue techniques, can help you save a life. A number of organizations offer free classes for both beginning and experienced swimmers and boaters.|
|·||“Buddy up!” That’s what swimming instructors instruct children and adolescents to do every time they go swimming. That means always swim with a partner, whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake. Even experienced swimmers can become too tired or get muscle cramps, which might make it difficult to get out of the water. When people swim together, they can help each other or go for help in case of an emergency.|
|·||Know your limits. Swimming can be a lot of fun – and a lot of children might want to stay in the water as long as possible. If your child is not a good swimmer or you’re just learning to swim, don’t let them go in water that’s so deep they can’t touch the bottom and let them know they shouldn’t try to keep up with skilled swimmers.|
|·||Be careful about diving. If an area is posted with “No Diving” or “No Swimming” signs, tell your kids to pay attention to them. If a “No Diving” sign is posted that means the water isn’t safe for a head-first entry. Even if your child plans to jump in feet first, check the water’s depth before they leap to make sure there are no hidden rocks or other hazards. Lakes or rivers can be cloudy and hazards can be hard to see.|
|·||Drink plenty of fluids. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun, particularly if your children are active and sweating. Make sure that your kids keep up with fluids – particularly water – to prevent dehydration. Dizziness, feeling lightheaded, or nausea can be signs of dehydration and overheating.|