Swimming offers endless opportunities for summertime fun. From summer camp outings, vacationing at the beach, or simply enjoying the recreation of a home pool children can get great exercise while staying cool. Parents love providing their children with outdoor recreation, especially due to the fact that a long day of swimming is almost guaranteed to wear out even the most active children.
More important than keeping kids active, is always making sure that children are practicing water safety. By following these five simple tips for water safety parents can be confident that children are enjoying pool time safely.
- Gates are a must in terms of water safety. Any home pool owner must have one, and public pools use them as well. This is not only to protect those that are living in your own home, but for any curious kids that may wander into your yard. The different types of pool gates available range from the basic to the very high tech. Parents should make sure that the gate they choose is childproof, and many opt for a gate with an alarm that goes off when the gate is opened or closed.
- Swim lessons are the main way that most parents address their water safety concerns. By teaching children how to swim parents become more confident that the child is safe in the water. Although swim lessons are available for the youngest of babies, those classes are more about introducing babies to the water and getting them comfortable in the pool. While the American Academy of Pediatrics stands by its belief that swim lessons are a must for children age 4 or older, it does also encourage parents to introduce children as young as 1 to swim lessons. Swim lessons at that age are not going to result in a child who can safely swim on their own, but it is important in introducing basic water safety and swimming skills.
- Floatation devices are a must for young children, but should not be used in the place of proper supervision. With many water parks no longer allowing children to use the traditional water wings that so many parents rely on, many are rethinking their use of floatation devices. Public water parks typically require properly fitted child-sized life jackets as these are life saving devices, and water wings are merely floatation aids. That is not to say that water wings should never be used. They might be a great tool for a child still learning how to swim but looking for a little help. Whichever choice parents use, make sure children are still properly supervised.
- Rules are also important for creating the safest swimming environment for children. Children need constant remainders so discuss the pool rules frequently. Rules should include never going near the water without an adult, telling an adult if the pool gate is open, and explanations why these rules are so important. There is no need to scare children; an explanation that water can be above their heads and that swimming alone is dangerous should be included in the conversation. Make sure guests are also made aware of the pool rules.
- Adult supervision is an absolute must in terms of pool safety. Very young children, especially babies and toddlers relying on water floatation devices, should have an adult in the pool with them. Older children who are good swimmers still need an adult carefully watching them. If there is a large number of children swimming make sure that there are enough adults to ensure that it is safe environment.
These are easy to follow tips that will create a safe environment for children around the pool. While these tips are targeted at home pool use, children should understand that they apply in any swimming situation. Swimming is a fun exercise and offers a great break from the heat that is perfect for children when done in a safe environment.