Teaching Your Kids Awareness & Respect for The Water
About a 3 minute read
Awareness and respect for the water is essential for every family member. Whether calm or choppy, natural or man-made, the drowning risk presented by water never goes away.
This week’s theme is Safer Water. We teach children to avoid dangerous situations around the water. This includes outside the house, the yard, friends’ houses and your home too.
While poolside, your children will make Water Watcher Tags. They will bring these tags them home to show and share. Use this tag to designate an adult Water Watcher when you next visit the pool, beach or lake. Water Watchers are the “designated drivers” you’re your family is swimming.
Drowning risks are everywhere. They are easy to forget. Swimming pools and hot tubs are pretty obvious. Water features in a garden or building lobby are somewhat lower-profile. Water that exists around your home and neighborhood – water you don’t even know is there or think about – is an unexpected danger.
Help your children learn to make Water Smart Choices. This includes “don’t play around water unsupervised”. Even shallow water can be dangerous. Learning awareness, making better choices and asking for help keeps everyone safer.
Whenever children are around any source of water (such as pools, rivers, lakes, bath tubs, toilets and even buckets of water), undistracted adults must provide constant and active supervision. Pediatric drownings occur most often because of failures in supervision. The multiple screens in our pocket makes distraction especially challenging. Even if a child or adult can swim very well or the water seems shallow, follow the old “swim with a buddy” rule.
Seek layers of protection at a pool. This includes:
- Restricted access to the pool area.
- Fencing all the way around the pool’s perimeter. Four feet high with self-closing gates is critical.
- Pool alarms.
- Safety locks on each gate, door and window leading to the pool area.
- Allowing children in the pool area only when an adult has given them permission
- Active supervision. We don’t let friends and family drive intoxicated. The same care and thoughtfulness applies to swimming and water safety.
Knowing the risks and planning for Safer Water can help prevent drowning! And remember a child can practically never be too young to start swim lessons. Learn why you should get your child started in swim lessons right away.