Even if you have been to the beach or pool many times with your little ones, it is still really important to be aware of basic swim safety precautions that will help you to minimise the risks.
As parents, we are responsible for showing our children how to be safe around water. Doing this requires a fine balance between teaching them to respect the potential dangers, without making them nervous of the water.
In this blog post, we will explain some essential swim safety tips that will help children learn to understand how to behave in and around water this summer. It is not all about stressing the hazards, but moreover a matter of teaching kids to be confident and remain aware of potential risks so that they can stay safe whilst they enjoy swimming.
Here are five really simple points to remember that will keep your whole family safe this summer;
1. Educate and Connect For many children, the water is an unknown. Even a child who regularly swims at their local pool can be unnerved by the experience of being in the sea. That’s why it is important to speak to your children about the water and what you do as an adult to stay safe and enjoy your time while swimming.
It is worthwhile doing this regularly at home, not just on your way to the pool or beach. That way, respecting the water is something that becomes nature to your little ones.
2. Fun When you are around water as a family, try to engage with your children through the games that they are playing. If it’s an underwater game, keep a watchful eye on what they are doing. If it is next to the pool or on the shore, be part of it, whether that is watching, playing or keeping score.
By supervising, you can easily making sure your children stay safe at all times. What’s more, by involving yourself in their games, you can help children build the confidence they need to be responsible about their own swim safety.
3. Confidence Being a confident swimmer is more than a matter of being able to swim from one end of the pool to the other. Being comfortable and confident is all about understanding your ability, staying aware of your limitations and also looking for ways to improve.
By teaching your children different strokes and how to breathe properly, as well as what to do when things don’t go exactly to plan, they learn to be more independent and aware of their own safety in the water.
4. Buoyancy Aids Buoyancy aids are not rescuing devices and should not be seen as such. They are actually really useful for helping your child become a stronger swimmer. They give them safety as well as independence, which means you can supervise your child without having to hang on to them at all times. This will help them feel more independent and encourage their swimming skills to flourish.
5. Sun Safety Keep your child protected from the sun with sun cream, hats and other protective swim clothing - this goes for while they are in the water too! The reflection of the sun in the water can multiply its harmful rays, increasing the risk of sunburn and heat stroke – so remember to reapply waterproof sun screen every couple of hours.