Summertime fun by the pool includes allowing your little ones to splash and play in the water – but with that comes a great risk.
Experts report more than 800 children drown each year – and many of these deaths could have been avoided.
So one mom who has worked for decades in the aquatic industry (even investigating drowning deaths) has a few tips she posted online which went viral – and every mom needs to read them.
Natalie Livingston wrote a viral Facebook post about water safety tips that has currently been shared more than 37,000 times!
Much of her information is bound to save lives, as we may think we are keeping a child safe by giving them pool rings and have grandma watch them while they swim, but this mom says methods like these aren’t foolproof.
So before you let your child go swimming next, be sure to read these helpful tips:
Teach Them About Safety
Natalie recommends always making sure your children know they must have your permission before getting into the pool.
So many children are eager to run (or jump) in the water – but have no concept of how deep (or shallow) the water actually is.
Make it a rule in your home your children must always have your permission before they enter any body of water.
By having these safety briefings, you can help your children identify potential dangerous areas, or instruct them on areas to stay away from.
For your older ones, Natalie recommends teaching them how to read the pool labels, so they know how deep the water is, and what numbers are “over their heads.”
And of course, enlist your child in swimming lessons if you’ve not done so already!
Make Life Jackets Fun!
Natalie pointed out while there is a culturally negative attitude to life jackets, they save lives.
She recommends even having those who can swim and adults wear them around the “weaker swimmers” to make them appear to be cool.
There are also several fun games you can play while wearing them!
And while many parents think that floaties and kickboards do the trick, but Natalie has this strong reminder.
“*Just an added side note that when referring to “life jacket” I am referring to a USCG approved life jacket (check the inside of the jacket or vest).Noodles, Inflatables, baby circles, tubes, and all other items are not safety-related and should not be used or trusted to keep your child safe.
We see countless videos of kids who flip over in an inflatable ring and can’t right themselves and are stuck underwater upside down, or are in arm floaties and can’t get their head out of the water because their arms aren’t strong enough, or who lose purchase of a kickboard they were holding onto for floatation. Even in a lifejacket, you need to diligently and constantly supervise as children can get in positions that can still obstruct their airway especially if they are younger or weaker.”
So moms, consider popping on a life jacket when you are in the pool with your kiddos! And remember the dangers that can happen from unapproved life jackets.
Simple floaties are not a guaranteed safety measure.
Adults Play A Role Too!
The goal is not to teach your children swimming techniques than just dump them in a pool!
Putting a life jacket on your child and then carrying on with your day is not a good plan.
Natalie recommends having adults take turns watching the children and make sure to institute swim breaks every 30 minutes or so.
Some parents have stricter rules on who can watch their children while they swim. Natalie only allows herself or her husband to watch her children, but do whatever is most comfortable for you.
Swimming is a fun and cherished activity for many children.
The goal isn’t to make children afraid of the water, but to teach them safety tips that could actually save their lives.
Make sure they know that water is fun, but it can be dangerous.
Have fun at the pool this summer!
(h/t Mommy Underground)