During the summer months families across the country will be spending more time at the beach, jetty, lake, river, ocean or backyard pool. Keep these outings fun by ensuring our kids are safer in and around water.
Here are 10 tips to ensure a safer summer.
1. Have a designated supervisor
Dedicate a water watch person to focus on the children. Ensure that they are away from their mobile phone or other handheld devices. Drowning is quick and silent. Any distractions can put the lives of our precious loved ones at risk. Like a designated driver, children need a designated supervisor. Also, keep young children and inexperienced swimmers within arm’s reach of an adult at all times.
2. Swim with a buddy
Young or old, experience or inexperienced, water environments can present challenging situations regardless of swimming ability. Make sure all children swim with a buddy - remember that we are stronger in numbers.
3. Enrol in Swimming Lessons
Our Swimming Lessons are more than just a swimming class. These lessons provide the knowledge and skills that can one day save your child’s or someone else’s life. Each level develops different skills from swimming technique to safe exits and entries, floating and re-surfacing after jumping/stepping in. Swimming lessons are a life skill, not just a sport. Swimming Lessons will develop your child’s understanding of water environments and the capabilities they have within those environments.
4. Attend our Safety Weeks
Children enrolled in our Swimming Lessons program have the opportunity to attend safety weeks throughout the year. Safety week focuses on entries and exits, treading and sculling, safety strokes, rescues and awareness of swimming in clothing. These safety skills not only work in a pool, they are life skills and can be used in all water environments. These skills are just as important as technique-based learning. When your child needs to use that skill, they are not always in bathers and goggles.
5. Consistently attend your Swimming Lessons
Consistent swimmers, safer kids. The more you practice the more you learn. If you are consistently attending your swimming lessons, the development of your child’s water education will flourish. Also, the more you participate with your child in the pool outside of lesson times, the stronger and more confident your child will be. This will also assist in the progression of your child’s skill. Lesson plus play equals safer kids.
6. Use designated swimming areas
Ensure you check all signage around waterways, rivers and dams. Some of these places are unsafe to swim in. Always ensure you are swimming in a designated swimming area. For example, we swim between the flags at the beach. These areas have been assessed by professions for currents, rips and other hazards and are usually monitored by lifeguards.
7. Learn First Aid
All parents and caregivers should know to respond in an emergency. You should always be equipped with first aid knowledge, basic rescue skills and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to help you save a child’s life. If you have not completed one of these courses, we recommend Surf Life Saving SA as a first aid course provider:
8. Enjoy a safe flotation device around the pool however don’t rely on it to be your supervisor
Floatation devices are useful for children, however they can also create a false sense of security for parents and children. It is important to teach children what a flotation device is and what can happen without wearing it. In our swimming lessons program, we use flotation devices to educate our children and families about how these flotation devices can help you. We will educate you when your child is ready to take these off and develop skills without the assistance of floatation device.
9. Always practice your swimming with and without goggles
Wearing googles can be of great benefit. It can make children feel more comfortable when submersing their face and allows them to comfortably go under water. It is also very important that all swimmers can swim without goggles. If a child falls into the water unexpectedly, chances are they won’t be wearing goggles. We recommend practicing swimming without goggles to reduce panic in unexpected situations.
10. Always check the depth of the water and beware of murky water
Always check the depth of the water. Never dive into the water. Even if you have checked the depth, water conditions can change. Sometimes bodies of water can be murky, and you might not be able to see if there are any submerged objects that can cause harm or how deep the water is. For your safety, do not enter in murky water.