Water Safety Tips for Summertime Fun

I’ll tell you something most people don’t know about me: I drowned when I was in fourth grade. Obviously it wasn’t fatal; but to this day the accident has an effect on me. Now that I have kids, I find myself being hyper-vigilant around water. Summer is upon us and May is National Water Safety Month, so I wanted to take some time to talk about water safety rules, and how to teach and implement proper water safety tips and skills.

Now, my parents had me in swim lessons when I was a kid. I was a strong swimmer. This accident happened while I was up north, swimming in a canal with a close friend and her family—and it happened within seconds. So while lessons are great, there are no guarantees, and you definitely shouldn’t rely on them alone.

Since the accident, I’ve learned three major things about drowning occurrences. Drowning doesn’t take much time, it can happen in a small amount of water, and it’s silent. The only reason my friend’s mother was alerted to what was happening was because another kid I was swimming with started screaming.

Water Safety Tips Parents Should Know

Always, always, always make sure there’s an adult keeping watch.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to water play, never assume anything. I don’t leave the water unless I have a verbal confirmation from my husband that he’s taking over and knows I’m stepping away.

All too often, parents assume another adult around the pool or body of water sees them step away and therefore knows it’s now their turn to take over watch. Make sure you’re on the same page before turning your back.

If you live by the water or you own a backyard pool, invest in a gate or system that makes it harder for kids to sneak off.

One of my dear friends bought her children some sensor bracelets that they wear when they’re swimming outside. When the children are submerged under water, the bracelet/sensor alerts the base unit.

They also make motion sensors for backyards so you can be alerted when children go toward the pool. A self-closing or self-latching device is great to have on your fence as well.

Simple water safety rules I live by:

  • Never run on the pool deck.
  • Make sure you have a buddy at all times.
  • Get mom or dad’s OK before you go into the pool.
  • Stay away from drains and drain covers.
  • Enter the water feet first.
  • If you need a floatie—wear a life vest or sit on a raft.
  • Never play games where you’re holding your breath.

Implementing Proper Water Safety Tips

The biggest thing I like to share with parents is the fact that the color of your child’s swimsuit matters. I refuse to buy my kids blue or green swimsuits. It’s too easy for them to blend in with the water if they happen to go under.

To make them easier to spot, I make sure their swimsuits are bright. I’m talking obnoxiously bright colors, like neon orange or hot pink.

Another big “no” for our family are floaties. That includes puddle jumpers. Inflatable water accessories like this naturally teach your child that they should be vertical in the water. When in reality, we swim and keep ourselves afloat horizontally. Our bodies have muscle memory. Teach your children the proper way to be in the water.

Find the Right Swim Class for Water Safety

Find a swim class that does more than just splash around in the water if water safety is of the utmost importance to you. I specifically searched for swim classes that focused on survival in the water. That’s how I found the Infant Swimming Resource program.

The program is wonderful. They teach children life saving techniques such as the proper float. This is so when they fall into the water, they can sustain themselves long enough for an adult to come to their rescue.

Like I said before, swim classes aren’t a guarantee. Nothing is; however, the more prepared you are, the better your odds are should the unthinkable happen.

Interested in learning more about ISR? Erica shares why her family chose ISR for swim lessons, and what she’s learned from it.


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