A national safety group found 90 percent of children who drowned did so while under the care of an adult or a teenager. There might be 10 adults outside while the kids are swimming but that doesn’t mean they’re actually paying attention to the kids.
Adults need to appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children, this can be broken out into increments of 20 minutes so all adults have a turn, and still get to be social.
Never swim alone Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone – even yourself.
Kids are not in charge
Never leave a young child unattended in the pool, even if there are other children who are strong swimmers with them. You cannot trust a child’s life to another child.
Kids love to splash, but too much of it can cause little ones to get a mouth full of water, lose their footing or get stuck underneath a float. Create some rules around splashing. Such as…
• If someone says stop, then stop right then.
• Always check to make sure you can see the other persons face when you’re splashing.
• Limit the number of splashes to two before checking on the other person to ensure they’re
above water and breathing. Use words to ask them if they’re good. They have to respond
using words, if not something is wrong.
Know the signs of drowning
• Flailing arms and screaming for help are not signs of drowning. Instead, it’s a quiet child who doesn’t seem like they’re in distress. Someone who can’t call for help or wave their arms.
Many times people remain upright in the water, without signs of kicking before sinking. Their head is covered by their hair or otherwise hard to see. Their head has fallen forward or their mouth is at water level but they can’t stay above long enough to breath or call for help. Another sign is trying to swim in a particular direction but not getting anywhere or appearing to climb an imaginary ladder.
The rule of thumb is, if you think someone is drowning ask them. If they can’t answer using words, they are in trouble.
Signs of drowning when persons are in the water:
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back with mouth open
- Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
- Eyes closed
- Hair over forehead or eyes
- Not using legs—vertical
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
- Trying to roll over on the back
- Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder
- Walk don’t run. Slipping on wet concert can result in concussions, broken limbs or bloody knees. They will learn to stop running. Hopefully, not the hard way
Do Not to swim when there is thunder. Where there is thunder, there is lightening. And, lightening and pools do not mix.
• Drains and suction
Make sure the drain covers are in fact covered. When in the water, kids
need to stay away from drains on the sides of the pool, as well as any suction areas. These suction areas can actually trap a child by holding them in place and keeping them from getting above water
• Depth matters
• Walk around the outside of the pool before ever getting in to familiarize yourself – and your kids – about the depth of the areas within the pool. Knowing where you can and can’t touch can save your life.
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