Whether it’s swimming in the back yard pool, a trip to the beach, or a day boating on the lake, many families enjoy time in or near the water. While packing sunscreen, umbrellas, and snacks are important to keeping children comfortable and safe in the sun, there are specific areas in which parents and guardians should be mindful of when it comes to safety around water. Studies have shown that while 90 percent of parents supervise their children when swimming and around water, many of them also acknowledge that they can sometimes be distracted by other activities. To keep your children safe in and around water, follow these important tips.
It is easy for busy parents and caregivers to become distracted while watching kids at play. Oftentimes we are busy talking with other adults, checking our phones, or simply trying to keep up with the day and our attention is pulled away from our children. Especially in and around water it is imperative to remain present and aware of your surroundings. If other adults are present, it is a good idea to designate one person to watch the children at a time, rotating through the adults as needed. It only takes a split second for something to happen that causes your child to be in danger, having full attention on them helps to increase reaction times as well as to avoid danger altogether.
Have Flotation Devices On Hand
Regardless of the age of your swimmers, floatation devices are not only lifesavers but also keep children from becoming physically exhausted. Have on hand floatation devices that can be quickly thrown into the water or grabbed by an adult in an emergency situation. It is also a good idea to have foam mats that float on the surface of the water such as those made by iFloats. These durable foam mats provide a large area where children and adults can congregate on top of the water, giving them a safe respite from constant swimming.
Teach The Buddy System
When possible, teach children to never swim alone. Swimming with a buddy is a much safer choice. If there are a group of kids, designate one buddy for each and ask them to stay with their buddy at all times, keeping them near when out in the water. Not only does this help children develop their own sense of safety measures, but it also gives them an additional sense of security.
When it comes to have fun in and around the water, keeping your children safe is the number one priority. Staying alert and focused, using floatation devices, and following the buddy system can ensure that your water activities remain safe and fun for everyone.