Swimming lessons are a must for any child. Many people believe that babies should learn to swim while it is still a natural response, but some health professionals advise against it. The practice of literally throwing babies into the water was popular some years back but physicians argued against it deeming that it caused them to inhale dangerous amounts of water. Don’t start lessons for children under six months old at the youngest and always find a certified instructor. The sooner your child learns to swim, the safer he/she will be.
Toddlers are the ones that need the most supervision. Often, parents and caregivers rely too heavily on those toys that are used to support children in the water. Keep in mind that a floating seat for an infant or “floaties” that children use to keep them above water have warning labels on them for a reason. These are not life preservers and are not meant to serve as flotation devices for rescue or for keeping anyone afloat who can’t swim. Although they can be great learning tools for children, they can rely on them too heavily and so can parents. Never leave toddlers alone and stay close and alert with infants while they are in one of these devices.
You should also be meticulous about applying sunscreen. Many of the floats for babies have umbrellas made over them to protect them from the heat and rays from the sun. However, water can reflect sunlight onto the baby and cause burns.
Accidents in the swimming pool can happen very suddenly without warning. It is very important that all parents follow these basic safety precautions especially if there is a swimming pool at home.
- Never allow your youngster to swim alone without any adult supervision. It is quite common to develop a cramp underwater, or for accidents like hitting your head while diving for example, to occur. It is paramount that there should be persons around to help in such situations.
- Do not allow children with no knowledge of swimming in or around the pool. For good pool safety make sure that all kids above the age of 4 attend a certified swimming class, or at least learn basic flotation techniques and life saving techniques in case of accidents. Children younger than 4 should always be accompanied by their parents in the pool.
- Enclose your pool with high fences, which can be locked. Do not leave the pool open and accessible since children can fall inside. Keep your pool safe, and keep your kids away from the poolside.
- Avoid leaving your kids alone even with small portable pools or water bodies like buckets, fountains, and barrels. There is always a danger of drowning occuring even in small bodies of water.
- In case of a backyard swimming pool, make sure that the cover of the pool is completely lifted over the pool. Do not partially open the pool. Also make sure that your child does not walk over the pool cover.
- Spas and Hot Tubs must also be avoided, especially in the case of younger children who are susceptible to overheating.
- For good pool safety, you can make sure that there is always a life saving floation device handy near the pool. Also, every parent should be conversant in basic CPR techniques in case of any accident.
- The last, but not the least, to ensure swimming pool safety, be observant. Watch what your kids are upto, and supervise their activities. Do not leave them alone.
Safe swimming is a matter of using common sense and never taking unnecessary chances. Swimming can be one of the most enjoyable forms of recreation for all ages but without rules, it can also be one of the most dangerous!