Summer Water Safety
I do NOT swim well, so therefore my kids DO! It truly paid off. One time for example, one of my sons, when he was about ten years old saved the life of a younger boy because he knew how to swim.
Do you and your kids spend much time at the pools?
Four of my five kids have certified as lifeguards, and all five also swam competitively. So, you could say we have had a lot of experience in the swimming category, as I mentioned before, I was a bit motivated since it wasn’t my strong point.
During a summer stint at the pool, I asked Delsi, my youngest, who was a certified lifeguard instructor, a life guard, taught public and private lessons as well as coached community and high school swim teams, to help me with a post on how to help keep your child safe at the pool this year.
Here is a list of 23 Water Safety Tips. Please share these with your family so they can be safe, and others will be too!
1- Lifeguards are not babysitters. Please keep track of your child at the pool.
2- Don’t let your child float around alone in a life jacket, or floaties, thinking they are safe.
3- Do not talk to the life guard while on they are on the stand/chair- and on duty.
4- Do not argue with a lifeguard if one goes in to ‘save’ your child. They must have felt your child was in danger and there is not a charge for this service, so THANK THEM, do not argue about it.
5- Even if you consider your child a strong swimmer, please watch and pay attention to where they are at all times.
6- Make sure your child knows where you will be so if help is needed, or they simply want you, they can find you.
7- Do not hover, tread water or stay under the life guard chair/stand because if they have to go in for a ‘save’ they may accidentally jump onto you, or your head while going to help a swimmer in distress.
8- Do not be a ‘Good Samaritan’. If you are not properly trained and attempt to help a hurt swimmer, you could actually make it worse. For example if the swimmer has a head-neck-or back injury, your attempt to ‘help’ may cause serious physical damage. Call attention of the problem to a lifeguard if they are not aware of the injured swimmer.
9- Read and be aware of the rules of the pool, no matter how old you are, or how good a swimmer you may be. They are there for a reason –protection and safety.
10- Do not splash, flirt with or distract the lifeguards. Their job is serious and they are paid to be attentive to the swimmers in the pool.
11- Please put non-potty trained babies and children in swim diapers.
12- Frequently ask your child if they need to use the bathroom. Often they are too busy playing in the water to get out in time for a potty break.
13- Do NOT eat in the pool – yucky for everyone else.
14- Check pool facility for slide rules. It is generally a rule that a person cannot catch your child as they come off the water slide. If the child cannot swim safety by them self to the side, they are not ready for this activity.
15- It is against all pool rules to catch a child jumping off the diving board.
16- If you have a complaint or concern, find the manager, supervisor or head life guard. The life guard does not generally deal with complaints; and again, they are on duty.
17- All pools have the rule against foul language as it is a family oriented facility. Contact the management, supervisor, or head life guard if issues of this nature occur.
20- Make sure your child(ren) drinks enough water. A child (or adult for that matter) becomes cranky and unpleasant when they are actually dehydrated. I read that chocolate milk is actually better to hydrate and restore lost nutrients than sports drinks.
21- Use care not to let your child get too hot. Check for flushed face, sweating, complaining of heat, or extremely irritable. If this happens, ask a lifeguard for help. Your child may be suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
22- Check to see if your child is too cold, even when it is hot outside. If they are shivering, lips are turning blue, finger tips are turning purple or blue, not moving very much in the water. This could be hypothermia. Again, contact a lifeguard.
23 – Have FUN and ENJOY the WATER & SUN safely!!!
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014
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