Now that the warm weather is here, it is all about fun in the sun. Children are more likely to want to go to the beach, lake, or swimming pool more often. Taking your kids boating or lounging by the water is a great way to spend quality time with the family, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Planning ahead for your child’s water safety takes priority in these situations.
Before the warm weather even gets to your area, it is smart to get your child in swimming lessons. How do you know when to start swimming lessons? Lessons are available for practically any child age and in most cases, the earlier they start, the better.
Even if you taught your child how to swim, swimming lessons can teach your child how to react if they find themselves or someone else in trouble while in the water. The swimming lessons will also give your child the proper education about life jackets.
Life jackets and vests are flotation devices designed to be worn around the upper body while the person or child is in any type of water. Putting the right fitting life jacket on your child is the best chance they have in any type of emergency on the water. There is absolutely no excuse for a child to not be wearing a life jacket if out on a boat or in a large body of water.
Check the Weather
If you or your child is going to spend the day outdoors by the water, it is advised to check the weather reports before you leave home. If inclement weather moves into the area near the water, it can turn dangerous in a matter of minutes. Lighting is attracted to trees and water. It is best to teach your child to get out of the water when it starts to show inclement weather. It should go without saying that you’ll want to keep an eye on the weather if your kids are swimming in the backyard pool.
This one’s for the older kids but when the sun is shining without a cloud in the sky, you are still going to want to teach your child how to read the water warning signs. Rip tides and under undercurrents can be dangerous, even deadly to anyone. Teaching them to ask a lifeguard about the water conditions before going into the water is a great habit to form.
Educate on Animals
While swimming in ponds, oceans, and lakes, most children do not remember they are in the home of other animals. In most cases marine life is harmless, but in some cases they are not. Teaching your child about what types of animals are in the waters they swim in is strongly urged and should be required if going snorkeling for the first time. This will give them the chance to learn what the animal looks like, what to do if they see the animal, and what to do if they were attacked.
Protect Their Feet
When at the beach, lake, river, or even around a pool, there are all sorts of sharp objects little ones can step on. Corral, sharp rocks, or even glass left behind from careless individuals can easily cause a cut. A good pair of water shoes can offer excellent protection from most things, even scorching hot concrete from the summer sun. In addition, they’ll make walking on slippery surfaces (such as the deck of a boat or wet river rocks) a piece of cake.
Protect Their Skin
Most parents know the dangers of too much sun exposure. Yes, all kids at some point will get sunburned and the effects on some are worse than others. Since water acts as a natural reflector for the sun, it actually magnifies the sun’s rays and sunburns happen quicker than if there’s no water around. Apply a good water resistant sunscreen on them before the fun starts and make sure to reapply at regular intervals according to what the label says. For babies and toddlers, a sun hat is cute, inexpensive, and works well.
And finally, one of the most important ways to ensure your child is safe around the water is by adult supervision. Always having a designated adult watch over your child while they play by the water is a great idea. Even having your toddler play in their beach tent on the sand can turn bad if they decide something else nearby looks more fun. As every parent knows, it doesn’t take much time for a young child to get in trouble.
Even when you teach your child all the safety procedures, they sometimes don’t pay attention and accidents happen. This is why having an adult around is a great idea. An adult can stop the child from participating in any dangerous activity and make them aware of what could of happened if they proceeded.