I can’t believe I am even thinking about summer and all that water safety right now. Did this year fly by or what? I am more than ready for summer to be here. Well, the kids are really ready for summer, me on the other hand, I’m happy to have them home, but not thrilled about the Louisiana heat. How do we beat this summer heat? With time in the water, of course. Along with all the water play comes the need to think about how to be safe around all types of water activities. Here are a few ways to play it safe around water.
Water Safety :: playing it safe around water
Summer is a time to relax, have fun, and just enjoy all things water-related. I almost think it is practically impossible to enjoy the Louisiana heat without some sort of water. When you add any water to the situation, you must consider all the means to keep it safe. It doesn’t take a lot of water for it to become a safety concern. Even a mere water hose can be an issue. You can still have your water play and play safe at the same time.
It just takes a little planning a head and some ‘coaching’ to those children who are old enough to play in the water. One rule of thumb that should ALWAYS be a rule is no swimming without an adult present for supervision. This adult must of the sole duty of watching the kids. It literally takes seconds for a child to drown…seconds. And it can occur silently.
The ole’ swimming hole
Swimming pools. They are a hot summer’s best friend. I almost will call them my BFF due to this wild and crazy Louisiana weather and smoldering heat. If possible, get your child into some sort of swimming lessons. This will get your child acclimated to the pool scene and most swimming lesson courses teach safety! The last swimming lesson classes my older two kids participated in at Crawfish Aquatics taught them how to swim to the side of the pool with their clothes on. It felt so good to watch them swim to the side! Swimming needs to be fun but also needs to contain the concept of safety.
Now, this may not be an option for everyone. No worries. You can teach a few skills yourself. Blowing bubbles is one of the earliest skills your child will learn besides floating on their back. Why blowing bubbles? It teaches them how to breathe out in the water rather than breathing in. Floating on their back is also important and can be done at home as well. The purpose of this skill is that if a child were to fall into a pool where they could not touch, they will be able to at least float until someone can rescue them.
Besides these two tips and swimming lessons, it is important for you as a parent to understand that it doesn’t take a lot of water to be a hazard. It can be a pool with only a few inches of water. You heard me right, a few inches! This of course is more towards the smaller children who could fall over and not get up from that small amount of water. Either way, be aware that it doesn’t take much!
Floaties, life jackets, and such
We sometimes lean on those flotation devices to make us feel less anxious around water. They obviously help keep your child above the water, but they are not magical swimming aids. They will not keep your child’s face above the water nor will they help a scared and flailing child. Children wearing any type of flotation device should still be supervised. I have seen floaties pop off of children’s arms! That is very scary when a child is not comfortable in the water and can not swim. So remember, children with flotation devices should be watched as if they were not wearing any at all.
Have fun, just play it safe!
Summer time is meant for having fun, especially in water. I believe if we all are aware of the what if’s and have our children understand them, water play can be so much fun and safe at the same time! Remember, never leave a child unattended around water, especially if they are not comfortable with the water. Oh, and don’t forget that sunscreen!