A backyard pool promises lots of fun for kids. Swimming is not only fun, it is great exercise. A pool sets the stage for many hours of quality family time, as well as playtime with friends.
However, a pool comes with heavy responsibility. You are in charge. It is your duty to safeguard all swimmers and guests – there is no substitute for vigilant supervision, especially when children are around. Always have an adult nearby. Even if the kids are great swimmers, you never know when they might need help.
Set a good example so younger kids know how to behave. The pool is only safe when EVERYONE follows the rules.
Swimming Safety for Kids
Basic water safety is one of the most important lessons a kid can learn. It ranks up there with avoiding conversations with strangers and what to do when your house is on fire.
Teaching a child how to swim should be a top priority. There is no universal age at which kids are ready for swim lessons. It really depends upon your child’s comfort level. Just because parents know how to swim doesn’t mean they will be good at teaching children how to do it. Often someone impartial makes it easier for a child to learn to swim, often avoiding frustration that may occur between parent teaching a child.
Child Swimming Basics
There are certain skills that all kids will benefit from knowing. Some of these may seem extremely basic to you, but for a kid, it could be enough to save their life. Here are five things all kids should be able to do.
- Tread water or float for at least 60 seconds.
- Turn in a circle and be able to locate an exit.
- Swim at least 25 yards before exiting the water.
- Pull themselves out of the water without using a ladder.
- Jump into the water until they are fully submerged and be able to get back to the surface.
Make Sure Your Children Are Aware of Safe Behaviors Around Water
Children, even very young children, can understand simple rules. Here are a few other swimming rules that are also important:
- Don’t eat a big meal before you go swimming.
- No chewing gum while swimming. You may choke!
- No swimming after dark. If people can’t see you, they can’t save you!
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Never act like you’re drowning just to get attention. It will stop people from knowing when you are really in trouble.
- Only swim while an adult is watching.
- Make sure you drink water, even if you don’t feel thirsty after you’ve spent some time out in the sun.
- Always use sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
- Never swim during storms.
When your child spends most of her time swimming in contained areas like pools, here are some basics to teach them.
- Emphasize that running around the pool is prohibited.
- Bikes and electronics are never to be brought near the pool.
- If they don’t obey the pool rules, there will be consequences.
- They must to keep away from the drain as it is too tempting for kids to stick their fingers in.
- Children should learn never to go in deeper water than they can handle.
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