Swimming Safety Tips
Splashing around in the swimming pool or the Ocean is a warm weather favorite, but one that comes with many dangers. However, if you and your children enjoy the pool or the ocean with precaution in mind, swimming becomes a much safer activity.
Perhaps the biggest danger of swimming is the risk of drowning, which is the second leading cause of death from injuries for children under age 14. What makes drowning so dangerous is how fast it happens—it takes less than two minutes for the oxygen to be cut off from the brain. In addition to drowning, children face the possibility of various other injuries, from bruises and scrapes to more serious injuries such as broken bones. To keep your children safe while swimming, utilize the following safety tips.
Children should always be supervised by a designated adult when in or around the pool or ocean. For infants and toddlers, adults should be within arm’s reach in order to actively supervise swimming activities. For older children, adults can take a more passive role and watch from a lounge chair. However, do not let anything distract your attention away from supervising duties. A few seconds could mean the difference between saving a child’s life and not being able to help in time.
Additionally, children should never swim alone. Develop a buddy system and teach children to alert the supervising adult(s) if his or her buddy goes missing.
Be aware of Rip Currents. If you are caught in one, do NOT swim against it. Stay calm and swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the Rip. NEVER try to fight it! It is best to stay calm and conserve your energy and think clearly.
In addition to supervision, enforce general safety rules such as:
- No running
- Do not push or jump on others
- Only dive off the diving board
- Do not eat or chew gum while swimming to prevent choking
- Do not jump into the shallow end
- Always wear sunscreen
- Hydrate with water, even if you’re not thirsty
- pay attention to the flags on the beach alerting you of rip currents
These rules are widely accepted by most public pools in order to keep swimming children safe. To provide the safest possible backyard pool environment, at least one supervising adult should take a CPR certification course.
Barriers and Other Equipment
Children, and even pets, can accidentally fall into a pool if it’s left unprotected. Install a 4-foot tall barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate to keep kids away from an unsupervised pool. For additional safety, install a pool cover (don’t forget a spa cover) and keep it covered when not in use.
Keep equipment nearby that you can use to reach or throw to kids while in the water. Beginner swimmers should wear proper flotation devices, rather than relying on water wings or other pool toys. Keep a phone and a first aid kit nearby in case of emergency.
We hope you find this information useful. Now get out there and enjoy the Summer!!