Orland Park-Frankfort, IL
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You’ve made it! It’s May, and that means summer is right around the corner.
The school year is coming to a close, family trips are on the horizon and everyone is ready to dust off the grill and pull out their flip flops.
But May is more than just a lead up to Memorial Day festivities and the vacation season. It’s also National Water Safety Month. Before you round the kiddos up for a beach trip, or let them jump into the pool, make sure your entire family is armed with the knowledge of how to be safe in and around all bodies of water. Read (and re-read, and then read again) these very important water safety tips from our friends at British Swim School.
Then grab your shades, unearth the bathing suits, and dive right into summer fun.
1. Start ‘em Early
Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible. Kids can start learning as early as 3 months old! Water acclimation and survival classes, like this one, will teach even the littlest swimmer valuable, life-saving skills.
2. Pool Hazards Heads Up
Keep the littles away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments. Pool drain entrapments can happen when a swimmer’s body or clothing become entangled in a faulty drain or grate, causing drowning or serious injuries.
3. Prevent Unsupervised Access To Pools
Have a pool at home? Make sure you have four-sided isolation fencing, at least five feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates that completely surrounds the pool and prevents direct access from the house and yard. Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Colorful and fun-looking toys can attract young kids to the pool.
4. Eyes On The Back of Your Head
Always know where your kids are in a pool or beach area. Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count.
5. Designate A Water Watcher
Appoint a designated Water Watcher to monitor children during social gatherings at or near the water. Consider the Water Watcher the “lifeguard on duty” and their job is to watch the pool. That responsibility doesn’t end until the pool is either empty or the Water Watcher badge is passed to a new designated Water Watcher. This person should never leave the area, not even for a moment.
6. Lifeguard On Duty
When you’re at the beach, it's a good idea to only swim in places that are supervised by a lifeguard. The lifeguard is trained in CPR and First Aid and is able to identify a swimmer in need.
7. Jackets Required
Everybody loves a summer boat ride. And if you’re lucky enough to go boating, wear a life jacket! But leave your infants with a sitter. Babies shouldn’t travel on a boat — including rowboats, kayaks, motorboats, and sailboats — until they are at the appropriate weight to wear an approved personal flotation device. And never give a child a life jacket intended for an adult. Remember, life jackets have to fit in order to work, so check those labels!
8. Waterpark Safety
Going to a waterpark? When using water slides, always go feet first. If you’re not a confident swimmer, wear a life jacket on the rides and in the pools. Parks typically haven them, but bring your own just in case.
9. Don’t Dive In The Shallow End
The American Red Cross recommends 9 feet as a minimum depth for diving or jumping into a pool. Leave the shallow end for hand stands, underwater tea parties and Marco Polo!
10. Learn CPR
Everyone should know CPR! In fact, kids as young as 10 or 11 can get certified. Starting CPR immediately, rather than waiting for emergency personnel, can save a life. Taking CPR classes with your kids is a great family experience and a super important skill to have.
Above all have fun! What kid doesn’t dream of a summer vacay at the beach or remember the good times at their local pool? With a little bit of caution, and taking these tips into account, your family is on its way to a soaked and safe summer!
Learn to Swim with British Swim School
Your littles can start safety and swimming skills as young as 3 months at British Swim School. Whether you're a tadpole, minnow or shark, there's a class for every age and level. Water safety starts here. Dive in, be safe and sign up your kiddos for lessons now.
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