Water Safety Tips For Parents
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It’s summertime. And your children most certainly want to be in the water. You’re taking them to the community pool, jumping in the ocean waves or maybe hanging at the pool in your own backyard. Whatever the setting looks like, water safety should not be forgotten. I’m leaving you with three of the most important water safety tips for parents. These tips are meant for parents with younger children who are not able to swim yet. **Also, I am not a licensed professional. These water safety tips are all of my own opinion and what I think is best!**
1. Set Boundaries
When you are near a body of water, explain the boundaries with your children. At a community pool, they should not step near the stripping of the pool. When at the beach, they should not be ankle deep in the ocean unless a parent is with them. If you have a pool in your backyard, you should have it fenced in and when your child wants to swim, a parent must absolutely be with them when they go beyond the fenced in portion.
My wife and I also explain that they should not enter a body of water unless a parent, lifeguard or some other responsible guardian (Approved by my wife and I) are present. They know that they don’t even get near a pool until mom or dad are in the pool. It seems strict, but it’s not a risk that we are ever willing to take. Setting boundaries when your children are young is the best thing you can do.
2. Eyes on Your Children at ALL times!
This one may seem silly. But please don’t disregard this step. In my opinion, this is the most important water safety tip for parents.
Let’s say you are invited to your friends house and there are three other families there. Each family, including your own, has 2-3 kids. That’s about 12 kids at this get together, ranging in ages from 12 months old to 10 years old. Some can swim and some cannot. Your friend has a beautiful in-ground pool in their backyard and everyone joins in the backyard for a BBQ dinner and swimming. You’re watching your kids swim with their swimmies on and your wife is catching up with her girlfriends. You have to go to the bathroom, and you don’t want to inconvenience your wife’s conversation, so you sneak out real quick. It will only be a minute.
After all, your other friends will be watching your kids because they’re swimming right next to their kids.
Wrong. Please don’t do this. My wife and I have a “Tag Method.” If we have to go off and change a diaper or take someone to the bathroom, I tell my wife that she is now in charge of watching my kids in the water. If my wife is not available, I do not leave. Or, I have another trusted relative or friend that I tag out with. This is important: Be sure you are clear in telling this individual that they are now responsible for eyes on your child in the water.
If you aren’t convinced, read this story from Nicole Hughes, who lost her son in a drowning accident.
3. Keep Flotation Devices on at ALL times
Anytime you approach a body of water with your children, they absolutely must have on their flotation devices, assuming they cannot swim on their own yet. We prefer the Puddle Jumpers for our toddlers and for our two year old, he is currently using a Speedo Swim Flotation Life Vest. There are many different life vests, puddle jumpers and other flotation devices that you can use. It’s up to you.
But this step is absolutely key: When you are near a body of water, be sure that your child has their flotation device strapped on. Whether they are about to go into the pool or ocean, or maybe they just finished up. They should have it on until they have completely exited the premises.
Water activities are a great way to spend time as a family during the summer. But if you aren’t correctly handling water safety with your children, start today. Make it a priority to keep your family safe.