Summer would be incomplete without spending time in the water, but for parents of children that haven't mastered swimming yet, it's a time to be on high alert.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission- "350 children under the age of five drown in pools each year nationwide. The majority of the deaths occur in June, July and August; most in backyard pools."
Those startling statistics are one of the reasons why I cover pool safety every year. I recently spoke to Justin Discoe Regional Aquatics Manager for Waterworks Swim School Poway about the parameters parents need to set up at home and beyond before their children are in the water.
Teach Children These 6 Safety Tips From Waterworks Swim School:
-Never enter pool without permission.
-No diving in shallow end
-Always stick to a buddy system. Never swim alone or without adult supervision.
-Always stay close to the stairs or wall.
-Don’t rough house with siblings or friends.
10 Tips For Parents From The American Red Cross:
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
- Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies.
Waterworks Swim School "Make Your Home Pool Safe!"
-Install barriers to your pools – fencing, gate/door alarms, and safety covers.
- Use self-closing, self-latching gates that open outward, away from the pool.
Are Floaties A Good Idea? The Short Answer No!
Floaties impact the rate at which children learn to swim, say Justin Discoe of Waterworks Swim School. "They teach a child to swim in a vertical position, opposed to a natural horizontal position." Discoe adds, "Floaties also provide a false sense of security for children around the water, making them more likely to enter a pool without supervision. Floaties can be dangerous for infants and toddlers who do not yet have the upper body strength to support keeping their head above the floaties, leaving them with their face underwater. If floaties are to be used, we recommend they be used in moderation with equal, or more, amount of
time spent without them."
"Never leave a child alone with floaties." Discoe states, "Floaties can easily slip off a children, causing them to quietly slip under the surface. While a properly fitted lifejacket is more secure, a child should never be left unattended. No one, no matter the age should swim alone."
Teach a Child to Swim & Save A Life!
Mr. Discoe advises parents to "begin swim lessons as early as 3 months old which greatly increases the safety of children in the water. With age brings the onset of fear. This fear of water increases as non-swimming children get older. This significantly impacts the rate at which they learn. Children as young as 3 months have a natural comfort in water and often times are swimming independently at a much younger age."
For More Information Visit Waterworks Swim School
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Address: Waterworks Swim School at LA Fitness
12648 Poway Rd.
Poway, CA 92064
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