Water safety is an important topic of discussion to have with children. Occasionally, a parent will ask me to explain to their child or children the importance of behaving a certain way in or near the water. Based on my observations over the years there is a general lack of knowledge about water safety.
Kids are impulsive by nature and will proceed full speed ahead when there is fun to be had. A conversation about water safety should start at home, before your trip to the water. Children get excited so just one talk is not enough. That conversation should be revisited and reviewed before every trip to the water.
Yes, there are lifeguards at water parks and at many pools and beaches. However, lifeguards are there to prevent risk by enforcing rules. It is our job as parents and guardians to supervise our children and give them the tools to keep themselves safe. The first step to water safety is learning to swim.
There are a lot of things we can do to keep our kids safe in or near water. Below are a few safety tips to consider on your next trip to the water:
- Learn CPR and basic first aid
- Know how to call 911
- Know how to call loudly for help
- Always be within arm’s reach of your child or children, even in very shallow water
- Make sure children know to ask for permission before going near or entering water
- Walk, do not run, on the pool deck
- Read the pool rules as a family
- Wear only coastguard approved flotation devices
- Use pool barriers for private pools
- Enroll in swim lessons for the entire family
Again, this is just a general list. There are many resources for more information on preventing drowning and promoting safety around water and the first step is learning to swim. There is loads of fun to be had in the water! Just be safe!