Friday, June 14, 2013

Pool Safety

School's out for summer and kids everywhere are gearing up for the typical free spirit, fun in the sun, shenanigans! My grade-schooler was ao busy during this last week of school setting up summer play dates. One thing we were actually asked a lot was if he knew how to swim.

He is in the beginning stages of learning to swim and has never had lessons. However this is the summer we're turning him into a full-fledged swimmer. Besides all the fun involved with knowing how to swim, this mom is tried of worrying about possible freak accidents.

In preparation for a safe summer of swimming I've done a little research and want to share it with our readers to ensure we're ALL ready for a safe summer of swimming.

Firstly, the second leading cause of death in children ages 1-19 is drowning. So don't underestimate the need to be vigilant. Feels like it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, kids that cannot swim should NEVER be left alone in a pool, lake or beach. Never being left alone means adults are focused on children swimming and not reading or distracted by cell phones.

Kids can begin swimming lessons before the age of 1, but if you haven't put your child(ren) in lessons, no need to worry. The basics of safety are to speak with your children about standard pool rules and their safety. According to the New York Times, "Lessons commonly begin by teaching children not to be afraid of the water. They learn to get their faces wet, blow bubbles, lift their faces up and take a breath. They then learn to float and breathe properly while doing simple strokes like the dog paddle and backstroke."

Next, it isn't a bad idea for the adults supervising kids to be trained in CPR. Knowing how to handle emergency situations can't hurt. Beyond that, kids should be taught to never rough-house while swimming, or hold another kid down, or "cry-wolf" about possibly drowning. The above issues could really harm a child more than help them so speak with your children about these details.

And of course, any child who cannot swim should always use a life vest (or the equivalent for their age) while in or around a pool. This is especially critical for small children. Children too young to call for help will need to depend solely on a secure life vest (or flotation device) should they become accidentally submerged in an unsafe level of water.

Please share your safety tips with us! And tell us how you keep kids safe while swimming?!?!

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