You've made an incredible choice to invest in the safety and well-being of your child in the water. Here are a some simple tips to help you and your child...
No Child is Drown-Proof, But You Can Keep Your Child Safer with these Swim Safety Tips
1. Supervise Your Child at All Times
CEO Supervision (Constant Eyes On) – Never turn your back on your child/ren around water. It takes just seconds for him/her to be in serious trouble. Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is responsible for watching the child/ren and be aware of distractions.
2. Safeguard Your Pool
Build layers of defense around the pool. Permanent four-sided fencing that encloses the entire pool area should be four to six feet high and equipped with self-closing, self-latching gates.
3. Put Outside Toys Away
Remove all toys from the pool when they are not in use. These colorful objects can be very attractive to little eyes. This also includes furniture and other objects in the pool area that children might use to climb over the fence.
4. Eliminate Distractions
The leading cause of distractions around the pool is an adult leaving to answer the phone, attend to something inside the home or helping someone else in or around the water. If you must leave, take the child/children with you.
5. Teach Water Safety
Learn and enforce all the water rules and, above all, teach by your example — never swim alone, obey lifeguard warnings, refrain from running around pool decks, follow ‘no diving’ signs, and always wear a life jacket when boating, fishing or playing in or near deep or fast-moving water.
6. Flotation Device Dangers
Flotation devices such as armbands, floatation rings and inflatable toys give parents and children a false sense of security. These devices can shift suddenly, deflate or slip from underneath, leaving a child in a very dangerous situation. Eliminate the use of flotation devices such as floaties,noodles, swim vests, etc. children must have the skills to rely on themselves and not flotation devices. In the event of an aquatic emergency, the child will go to what they know best. If they have been used to swimming in/with flotation devices they will assume the position that they are used to when using the device (head up, toes down) and sink. Honoring the horizontal swimming/floating posture that ISR teaches is key to survival in the event of an aquatic accident.
7. Educate Others
When traveling to relatives’ and friends’ homes they may not understand the importance of keeping gates closed, doors locked, closing toilet seats, emptying buckets, etc. Visiting family, holiday parties and celebrations can lead to breakdowns in routine supervision and effective barriers to the water.
8. Maintain Pools
Keep pools well-maintained with clear water even if it is too cold to swim. If someone falls in, they can be seen and be helped faster. Pool covers need to be drained of accumulated rain water and free of debris.
9. Restrict Hot Tub Use
Supervision must be one adult per child due to the high temperatures and turbulence of the water in a hot tub. When young children are in the hot tub, keep the temperature below 90 degrees Fahrenheit and limit exposure to less than ten minutes.
10. Use Safe Choices with Bath Tubs
Do not allow anyone who is uneducated about bath tub safety to bathe your child. Consider bathing an infant or young child in a tub with a handheld shower attachment, eliminating the risk of drowning in accumulating bath tub water.
11. Equip Your Child with Self-rescue Skills
Teach young children self-rescue skills. In addition to pool fences, alarms and gates, it can be another layer of defense. Survival swimming and a demonstration of the roll-back-to-float skills prior to all water recreation is vital year round.