Kids should begin learning swim safety as soon as possible! Whether or not you and your child are around pools or water often, learning swim safety is the best way to avoid dangerous situations.
Summer safety tips:
- Watch the kids in and around the pool: This may sound like a given, but many times accidents occur around the pool when kids are out of direct eye sight. Even if the child is wearing floaties or is in the shallow end of the pool, adults should always keep eyes on the kids. Having more than one adult present when kids are around water helps to ensure children are playing safely. Depending on the age and swim level of the children, we recommend a 1:3 non-swimmer to swimmer ratio, so there should be at least one trusted swimmer per 3 non-swimmers.
- Be aware of the 25:10 rule. We always make adults aware of this rule that says if a child can’t swim more than 25 feet, they should be within 10 feet of the responsible adult at all times.
- Ensure a child needing a PFD (Personal Floating Device) has an accurate Coast Guard Approved floatation device. There are 5 different types of PFDs—examples of approved floatation devices include life vests, throwable devices such as a ring buoy and even a life cushion. Commonly, adults think that arm floaties or water wings are an accurate floatation device, when in fact this is not the case and these are not Coast Guard Approved. To ensure a child is using an accurate PFD, one simply needs to look for the clear Coast Guard Approved seal, which can be found on every single approved floatation device.
- Practice swimming with the kids: Some ways to help children practice swim safety is by swimming together. An easy start to this would be to hold the child under their arms and have the child face you while you simply walk around the pool. The adult should encourage the child to kick their legs, practicing the movements of swimming. You can use additional floatation devices for security and remove as the child progresses.
- Become CPR Certified: All parents or those who supervise children should become CPR certified, in case of emergency. Being able to help on site of an emergency will help ease the minds of parents and caretakers