There’s more to water safety than teaching your children to be confident swimmers. While this is obviously important, it isn’t everything. Now that summer is here, we thought we’d share some tips that go beyond the pool.
- Keep an eye on your kids
ALWAYS keep an eye on your kids when they’re in the pool, the ocean, the river, or any body of water. As summer is party season, ensure you have a designated supervisor during social gatherings, and never assume someone else is looking after the kids.
- Teach kids to be water wary
More than 90% of juvenile drownings occur while children are unattended. If you’re not around to supervise your children, teach them that they’re never allowed to play in, on or around water. Tell them that the only time they’re permitted to do any of those things is if you’re there with them.
- Make them water wise
Teach your kids about the dangers the water poses in the pool, at the beach, or around the home. Ask what they’d do if they saw someone struggling in the water. They too young to attempt a rescue themselves, so discuss alternatives e.g. throwing a ball or chilly bin lid into the water to help a person float, and telling an adult immediately.
- Recognizing hazards at home
You might associate water safety with fun settings like the pool and the beach, but more mundane locations should also be considered. That’s why it’s vital to identify water hazards at home. They might include buckets, pet bowls, and water features. Stay with the kids at bath time, and never leave the bathroom without them. Empty the bath tub afterwards, and keep plugs out of the reach of little ones.
- Toys are for fun, not safety
Inflatable water toys are not designed to be safety or flotation devices, so please don’t treat them as such. Remove toys from the pool when they’re not in use as a toddler might fall in while trying to retrieve their favourite play thing.
- Cool pool rules
Ensure your pool meets all safety standards, including the fencing which must include a securely lockable gate with a child proof latch; the gate should automatically swing back to closed after being opened. Kids might be tempted to try and get over the fence, so remove anything they can use as a climbing device. Finally, always empty paddling pools after use, and store them away.
- Stay safe on the beach
When you get to the beach, outline a safe zone that the kids can’t swim beyond. This zone should be easy to supervise if you’re not in the water with them. If there are red and yellow flags with lifeguards on patrol, then that automatically becomes your safe zone.
- Rivers can be deceptive
A river or water hole can hide many of its potential dangers. For example, rivers often flow much faster than they appear to from the bank. Meanwhile, hidden objects like logs and rocks can cause horrible injuries, so always look before you leap.
- Get on board with boating safety
The single best way to stay safe on a boat is to wear a lifejacket that’s tight fitting and correctly worn. For this reason, never put an adult’s jacket onto a child.
- Learn to swim
As we’ve said, learning to swim isn’t the be all and end all of water safety. However, it’s a huge component that should never be overlooked. Our fully qualified instructors can teach your kids to swim along with some basic water safety and survival skills. A little learning will go a long, long way!