For many children, playing in the water is a frequent, enjoyable diversion. Whether at the beach or the community pool, swimming is a great way to keep children healthy and happy. However, this common pastime is not without its own concerns – without precaution, this pleasant activity can turn into a completely different scenario. When it comes to children, safety is of the utmost importance. The following are several tips on how to teach your children to be safe around water, so they can enjoy it for years to come:
1. Learn to Swim
While this may seem obvious, there are a fair amount of both young and older individuals that lack the ability to swim. It’s important to make sure that your children learn as young as possible, as this can prevent drowning from an early age. Whether through private tutors or San Diego swim lessons, there are a variety of ways in which you can encourage swimming among children. But in general, it’s vital to ensure that they’re able to handle themselves in the water, as this can be the deciding factor in an emergency.
2. Keep Parents Nearby
While in the water, children can become easily distracted and carried away with fun. However, make sure your children know to stay near a parent or reliable adult, as this will ensure their safety around the water.
3. Stay Near a Lifeguard
There may be a scenario where parents are not around or easily accessible. In this case, teach your children to swim near a lifeguard. Their watchful eyes are always on the lookout, and are essential in the case of an emergency.
4. Never Swim Alone
Swimming alone can be a dangerous activity. Therefore, make sure you assign your child with a buddy or swimming partner. Another pair of eyes can keep each other accountable and reduce the chances of danger.
5. Understand the Currents
If your family is enjoying a day at the beach, make sure everyone is aware of the danger of rip currents. Rip currents are powerful currents that lurk under the waves, making it difficult to swim directly to the shore. Make sure that your children understand how to identify rip currents and how they can handle this danger.
6. Read the Signs
From the beach to the pool, many water locations often post signs in order to keep their visitors safe. Teach your children to keep an eye out for these signs, as they offer valuable information on how to behave around the water.
7. Keep the Environment Distraction-Free
Colorful toys are a common sight when it comes to activities around the water. However, these toys, such as Styrofoam noodles, can entice a child towards the water, possibly resulting in an accident. Therefore, ensure that your children avoid distractions and concentrate on the activity of swimming.
8. Don’t Run
One of the common safety tips around the pool is to avoid running at the water’s edge. This advice is important for children to follow, as it can prevent injuries and slipping into the water. The same goes for rough play – make sure your children refrain from horsing around or pushing others, as this can quickly go wrong.
9. Avoid Rough Play
During a swimming session, it is all too common for children to scream and shriek for joy. However, this can quickly turn into a case of “the boy who cried wolf”. Instead, teach your children the necessary safety signals and words, so that they’re able to properly alert you in the case of an emergency.
10. Refrain from Diving Headfirst
While diving is an alluring activity, the surface of the water can create illusions on the actual depth of the water. If done improperly, diving headfirst can lead to serious neck injuries, as a head can strike the bottom. Therefore, make sure that your children refrain from diving, thereby risking an injury to their body.
Brett Callan is a writer for Murray Callan Swim Schools, where their Escondido swim lessons offer customized support for children throughout San Diego. He loves to enjoy the San Diego weather whenever he can, whether from the beach or at a pool.