Quick water safety tips to get you in the pool and off the towel.
Who does not love soaking in the sun between June and August? Summer is a wonderful time of the year when families can rest and recharge in between the school season and often splish and splash in the water to beat the summer heat. While water offers ample opportunities to cool off, build confidence and have fun, it is important to remember that water poses a great threat, particularly to young children. Statistically speaking, more children ages 1-4 die from drowning than any other cause of death. Here are some ways you can keep your children safe while enjoying summertime.
- SWIM LESSONS First and foremost, providing children with the resources necessary to float, tread water, swim, and enter and exit the water are life-saving skills. Swim lessons instill confidence in both children and parents to ensure everyone can enjoy the water safely. Learning to swim can significantly reduce the risk of drowning, especially in toddlers through adolescent children.
- INFANT SWIMMING RESOURCE While conventionally, swim lessons are often reserved for older toddlers and children, some families have begun investing in water safety programs such as Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) to provide even the youngest beachgoers with the possible skills needed to survive finding themselves alone in the water. Unlike traditional swim lessons, ISR focuses on skills such as flipping over and learning to float for children 6 months and up in the case of an emergency. For families who may have pools in their yards or homes that are easily accessible to the ocean’s edge, it can be far too easy for little ones to find themselves in a dangerous situation. While there is research that supports the efficacy of self-rescue programs, not all parents are proponents of the ISR method, citing concerns over possible trauma they fear with ISR programs. You can read more about ISR here.
- BARRIERS The difference a secure barrier or fence can make with water safety cannot be understated. Too often, preventable accidents happen where children stray from a supervising eye and reach for a toy that fell into a pool or excitedly go into the bathtub while a caregiver or parent is grabbing something from a separate room. Pools should have secure, self-latching gates to prevent children from entering a pool area unsupervised. The pool fences should clearly separate play areas in your yard from any swimming areas. The same rules apply to those with access to nearby beaches, though this is often less of a concern. In regards to water safety in your home, we advise against leaving children unattended in the bathroom with a full bathtub, and if you need to step away from a child during bathing, physically remove little ones from the area while your attention is elsewhere.
- COLORS Less thought of, but equally important is what you choose to dress your baby and toddlers in when going to enjoy the ocean air or sit poolside. Color selection can play a crucial role in helping to keep your kids safe and the brighter the better! In an emergency, popular colors such as light blue, white or green can be hard if not nearly impossible to see when fully submerged. Does your kiddo’s swimsuit pass the test?
- FLOATATION DEVICES Make sure you have age-appropriate life jackets when you are around natural bodies of water whether that be a lake, ocean, or even a pool – even if your child knows how to swim. Life jackets and flotation devices are excellent precautions to take when on a family boating trip or enjoying jet skis!
- BRING A BUDDY Children should never be left to swim alone. While this may be an obvious tip, reminding children to wait for an adult and ensure there is supervision in the form of a caregiver or lifeguard is important!
The above are just a few ways to keep your children safe when going for a swim this summer. Heading to your next outing prepared can look different depending on what kind of body of water you may be heading to. Keep kids prepared and talk about what to do if they find themselves alone in a pool area and how to stay safe at the beach by spotting riptides and how to handle the situation if they are caught in one. The summer is a time to unwind, stay cool, and have fun, and with a little bit of mindfulness and a great team that prioritizes safety around your family, you can have the best summer ever!
Looking for someone to lend a hand with your kiddos by the pool? In need of a second pair of eyes to supervise and keep your little ones safe? Give us a ring today at (973)466-2669 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about hiring a nanny this summer!