Practical water safety tips that all parents and caregivers need to know:
- Any time kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines and anything else that might distract the adult from watching swimming children EVERY SINGLE SECOND. After all, most children who drown are supervised.
- The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safer around water is to enroll them in swim lessons. Swimming is an essential life-saving skill with numerous physical, mental and intellectual benefits.
- Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of water.
- Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Life jackets should be designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
- Know that even the most seasoned swimmers can still encounter trouble. Make sure swimmers don’t over-estimate their skills and that they understand the importance of staying hydrated at all times.
In addition to these tips, there are several skills that the water safety experts at focus on at Goldfish Swim School. Parents can practice these skills with their kids anytime they are in the water:
- * Work on getting in and out of the pool safely. Fin, Fin, Belly, Flipper! Help your little ones learn how to get out of the pool by manipulating their bodies in this order: elbow, elbow, tummy, knee. Practice this often; you can even do this on your living room floor by having your baby climb onto a couch or chair! After you practice, always remember to celebrate. Eventually, your little one will be strong enough to manage the movement on her own! This is a skill that kids continue to use to safely exit the pool — even when they are older!
- Jump, Turn, Swim to the Wall! Let your child jump off the side of the pool to you and help him physically turn back to the wall and then assist your child in getting out of the pool by using the in, fin, belly, flipper method. Do this over and over again. As your child get more confident let her go under the water and come to the surface on her own. This teaches kids to automatically turn back to the wall behind them to climb out. If a child were to fall into a pool, this skill is the quickest way to safety.
- Sea Otter Float. Work with your child on turning over and getting their faces out of the water to take a breath when he/she fatigues.