This post was sponsored by SwimWays as part of an Activation for Influence Central. I received products to facilitate my review.
With Summer approaching many families are excited to start heading to the pool to enjoy the sun’s rays but there is one danger that constantly lurks in the water, swimming safety. Does everyone in your family know how to swim?
SwimWays started National Learn to Swim Day in 2012 which is dedicated to educating parents and children about water safety and the importance and benefits of learning to swim. With this year’s Nation Learn to Swim Day on May 21, 2016, now is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of teaching your children to swim. In Arizona alone, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death to children under five so learning this invaluable life skill is essential for fun as well as for safety.
Learn How to Swim
Though the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests formal swimming instruction for most children 4 years old and above, many children are ready for lessons as young as 6 months old. Since every child is different though, be sure to only enroll your children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready.
If you feel they aren’t ready, teaching them simple things like how to tread water, float, and to stay by the edging of the pool are a great start. If your child isn’t ready for these tasks then I would consider using a floatation device.
Use Proper Flotation Devices
With floatation devices starting at 9 months old and above, SwimWays offers floats in 3 phases for each age range to grow comfortable with the water before braving it alone. Phase 1 supports babies as they are introduced to the water helping them stay comfortable and happy. Phase 2 provides support while children lean to balance and paddle. Phase 3 is a graduated flotation system that advances swimming ability at the child’s own pace.
Since the SwimWays Baby Spring Float is the single best float on the market today; it was the perfect product to introduce Baby M to the water for the first time this season. We tried the Monkey Baby Spring Float Animal Friends and though he was nervous at first, Baby M fell in love with the float and didn’t want to get out of the water.
Never Swim Alone
This is one tip that many people, even adults, are guilty of. As tempting as it may be to little ones to swim alone in the pool, it needs to be stressed that they should not do it. Accidents happen to even the strongest of swimmers so children should always know that it is only okay to swim with an adult present. A great way to prevent a child from entering the pool alone is to make sure the pool has a 4 foot or taller fence with self-closing, self-latching gates and a high lever that can’t be opened by a child.
Since drowning can happen in as little as 2 inches of water, active supervision is a must. The CDC reports that most accidental drownings of children aged 1 to 4 occur in residential pools so put down the phone and be vigilant in your supervision. Never turn away or allow yourself to become distracted, not even for a second.
As fun as it is to rough play in the water, this can lead to major injuries and increase the risk of drowning immensely. You never know someone else’s limits so hanging on them, dunking them, or cannon balling on someone in the water could have serious consequences.
Check the Pool Drains
Drain entanglement or entrapment is a big safety issue. If the pool is missing a drain cover or even if the cover is loose or broken, do not swim in the pool. If you have your own pool, taking safety measures like anti-entrapement drain covers or installing pumps that will release suction when shut down, is a great step in the right direction.
CPR and First Aid
This is one of the most important tips for swimming safely. It is a important that the supervising adult can not only swim themselves but are also capable of performing CPR or first aid to your child if needed. This will not only give you more trust in letting someone take your child to the pool but also give you peace of mind in knowing that if something were to happen to your child that they would be in capable hands until the paramedics arrive. Also, its never too young to teach your own child how to perform CPR as it is a valuable skill they could use throughout their life.
For additional water safety and swim training tips, visit TeachMeToSwim.com, a resource created by SwimWays just for parents and caregivers teaching children to swim.