Swimming is a year-round sport in Florida. Make sure your munchkin is safe & secure with these swim safety tips. Have some great tips to add? Email us at [email protected]!
Swim Safety Tips
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Do not use air-filled swimming aids (such as inflatable arm bands) in place of life jackets. They can deflate and are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
- Provide touch supervision. This means that an adult is within arm’s reach anytime your young child is in or near water. With older children and better swimmers, an adult should be focused on the child and not distracted by other activities.
- Children need to learn to swim. AAP supports swimming lessons for most children 4 years and older. Classes may reduce the risk of drowning in younger children as well, but because children develop at different rates, not all children will be ready to swim at the same age.
- If you have a pool, install a fence that is at least 4 feet high to limit access to the pool. Families may consider pool alarms and rigid pool covers as additional layers of protection, but neither can take the place of a fence.
- Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Be aware that pools and beaches in other countries may not have lifeguards, and pools may have unsafe drain systems. Supervise children closely
- If children are in out-of-home child care, ask about exposure to water and the ratio of adults to children
- Parents, caregivers and pool owners should learn CPR. Parents should know the depth of the water and any underwater hazards before allowing children to jump in. The first time you enter the water, jump feet first; don’t dive.
- At the beach, stay within the designated swimming area and ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard. Swimmers should know what to do in case of rip currents (swim parallel to the shore until out of the current, then swim back to the shore).
Adapted from the AAP and Safekids.org.
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