With the weather heating up and Memorial Day right around the corner, the summer season is almost here. It’s time to dig the beach toys and towels out of storage, and get ready for some fun in the sun. It’s also a great opportunity to make sure you and your family know how to be safe around the water.
May is National Water Safety Month – but our goal at Tom Dolan Swim School is to make swim safety a top priority all year round. Review these safety tips, and enjoy your summer to the fullest!
Swim Safety Tips
Don’t let anyone go swimming alone. Emphasize the buddy system with children –asking older kids to look out for their younger siblings and friends. Swim in areas that are supervised by lifeguards, but remember that parental supervision is the most important precaution of all. Never leave children unattended near the water, and be sure you can reach them quickly if necessary. If there are several adults around at one time, take turns being the active watcher, so you know someone is always being vigilant.
Keep up swim lessons.
Our motto is “Swim Thru Life,” and we swear by it for the entire family. Formal swim lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent among children age 1 to 4 years old, according to the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Babies as young as 3 months old can learn swim safety fundamentals, and it’s so important to us that we even offer free classes for babies 3 to 6 months old.
Learning to swim is a lifelong pursuit, and we encourage kids to attend lessons consistently throughout the year (not just during the summer). Over time, they will build their skills and confidence – making swimming an important part of their lives.
Be extra careful.
If you have a pool or are vacationing near one, secure it so small children can’t access it. Double-check gates, fences or covers, and keep kids within your line of sight.
Go over the basics.
Remind children about the most important safety rules whenever you head to the pool or the beach. Ask questions to verify they know when they can go in the water, and what you expect of them while they’re swimming. Emphasize all the fun activities they can do in the water, but be clear about what is not allowed.
Rehearse emergency situations.
In a crisis, both kids and adults can panic, and fail to react quickly when seconds count. Go over what you should do in different emergency scenarios. Practice yelling for an adult, dialing 911, or throwing a pole or a line to someone in the water. Enroll older kids, teenagers and adults in your family in a CPR class.
Sign your family up for swim lessons