The most important reason for teaching your kids to swim is safety. Part of keeping them safe involves knowing how to supervise them when they’re in the water. These six things will help you keep them safe in the water.
Before we get into how to supervise, remember when to supervise them. It’s simple: Always.
Always supervise your kids when they’re in and around the water, even if…
- they’re wearing flotation devices. Flotation devices can provide a false sense of confidence for parents and kids. They’re meant for emergencies, not as a substitute for supervision.
- your kids are water safe. No one, including adults, should swim alone, and kids shouldn’t ever swim without adult supervision.
Designate an adult supervisor. Ideally that person should have lifeguard, first aid, and CPR training. The adult should be focused on watching the kids.
6 Things You Must Do When You’re Watching Kids around Water
- Eliminate distractions. Don’t talk on the phone or text message. Don’t read or watch TV. Don’t do yard work or fold laundry.
- Don’t divide your attention by supervising kids who aren’t in or around the pool while you’re also supervising kids who are in or around the pool.
- Keep talks brief and keep your eyes on your responsibility.
- Don’t eat.
- Don’t drink alcohol.
- If you need to leave the pool area for any reason, even for a few seconds, make sure all of the kids are safely out of the pool and pool area while you’re away. Kids can drown in twenty seconds, and they don’t make noise when they fall into the water or start having trouble.
Make sure that babysitters also know the risks and procedures. Keep your kids safe when they’re learning to swim and when they’ve turned into Marco-Polo-playing machines, and always use common sense to reinforce and strengthen safety guidelines.