Water should be a fun place for family fun all year long. But as a parent of 3 kids it can also be overwhelming and scary to try and watch them all. As summer is upon us and my family is spending most of our time at the pool, I want to share pool safety tips for families in collaboration with Goldfish Swim School.
Why does water safety matter?
Drowning is the leading cause of injury/death to children ages 1 to 4 and the second leading cause for children ages 1 to 14. With pools open and families traveling to the beach or lake it is more important than ever to keep your family and kids safe around water.
The American Red Cross recommends that the #1 way to keep children safe around water is to enroll them in swim lessons.
How can parents/caregivers/adults keep kids safe in or around water?
- Have a identified adult watching your children. This should not be assumed that the other parent is paying attention. Clearly communicate that “I need you to watch Grayson while I go to the snack bar.” Make sure the other adult confirms before walking away.
- Be present – make sure you are watching and not distracted.
- Floaties, noodles, plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are water toys not life saving devices.
- Start water safety young. Infants can start lessons as early as 4 months at Goldfish Swim School.
What skills are important to know?
- Being comfortable with being underwater – Practice in the bath by pouring a cup of water over their head in the bath. Use a verbal cue every time such as “Grayson, Ready. GO!” Pause 1 second, pour, and then celebrate!
- Use pool toys and games to practice breath control such as dive sticks and rings to help them hold their breath for longer periods of time.
- Getting to the closest side of the pool by “Jump, Turn, Swim to Wall.” Start by standing in the pool by the wall and allowing them to jump to you. You can help turn them around to face wall and then assist them in getting back to the closest wall.
- Getting out of the pool with “Elbow, Elbow, Tummy, Knee.” Practice as much as you can. Let your child show you at the pool. Encourage and repeat.
- Back Floats – This is a great life saving skill and you can even practice this in the bathtub too. Encourage chin back, belly to the sky, and arch your back. As they get more confident you can remove your hand from holding their back as a support to do completely on their own.
For more information about Goldfish Swim School and to find lessons in your area visit Goldfishswimschool.com. My kids have been having fun at Goldfish Swim School since they opened their doors in Richmond VA and are confident and happy boys in the water. It gives me the peace of mind to know that they know water safety and have a skill that will serve them for a lifetime. You can read why I love Goldfish Swim School in this post.