The weather is slowly starting to warm up. We are all ready for spring after the winter we've had this year. If you're like me, you're looking forward to Spring Break. It's our chance to escape all this snow and bitter cold, to travel with the family to a place with warm weather, and enjoy some fun in the sun. I can just see us enjoying a trip to the beach or enjoying the hotel pool. As a parent, I want to be able to relax and enjoy my vacation. That means I need to be sure my children are safe when it comes to being around water by reviewing water safety tips with them.
For the past few summers, my children have all been in swim lessons or on swim teams. It's been several months since they've been in a pool, so their water safety skills may be a little rusty. It only takes a second for the unthinkable to happen. An ounce of preparedness makes all the difference. So I want to ensure that they are safe and we have a great trip. The US Swim School Association provides tips to help prevent drowning. They sent me this information and I wanted to share it with you. I think it's important to keep our families safe, so that we can enjoy a little family adventure together.
The US Swim School Association says:
PHOENIX, AZ – Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. On average, 3,533 people die as a result of drowning each year, and most of those deaths are children under the age of four who drown in backyard swimming pools. The tragedy of these statistics is nearly all drowning deaths are preventable. To help educate children, parents, families and swim instructors on preventive measures to avoid a drowning incident, US Swim School Association (USSSA), the preeminent swim school organization in the country, has compiled the latest life-saving water safety and swim instruction tips.
There are several standard water safety precautions recommended to parents including: keeping children under constant supervision, enrolling children in swimming lessons, knowing CPR, having pool fences and barriers installed. In addition to these vital steps, USSSA has created a list of tips parents can use to build extra layers of protection for their children around water.
Drowning Prevention & Water Safety Tips
- Never allow your baby/toddler in the pool without a swim diaper, and create a process the child must go through before entering a pool such as putting on the diaper, a swimsuit and applying sunscreen.
- Create a verbal cue for your child that must be given by you before he or she can enter the pool.
- Never use flotation devices or water wings when teaching kids to swim.
- Don't always use goggles with your kids in the pool. Teach them to open their eyes under the water so if they fall in they can open their eyes and find the side or a step and leave the pool safely.
- For very young children practice having them put their entire face under water in the bathtub and blow bubbles to build their comfort with water.
- Create a water safety plan for your family and have water emergency drills with your kids covering how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in water and what to do in this type of emergency.
- Make sure your guests and kids friends know your pool rules before they go outside and get in the pool.
- Start swim lessons at 6 months of age and continue them year-round at a US Swim School member location.
- Always make sure your children wear life jackets on boats, personal watercraft and in open bodies of water.