Women health

Why is water safety important?

Swimming is both a fun family activity and a fantastic form of exercise. Nothing compares to spend an afternoon together swimming around in the ocean.

However, a lot of individuals are unaware of how risky swimming may be without adequate preparation.

Every ten minutes, someone drowns to death in the USA. Children make up one out of every five drowning victims, and for every child who perishes another five need medical attention for injuries sustained while submerged in water. For children aged 5 to 14, drowning ranks as the second-leading cause of death overall.

There is no better time than the present to teach parents of the fundamentals of year-round water safety, even though the YMCA recognizes International Water Safety Month in May. Whenever a parent takes the time to teach their children the fundamentals of water safety, they are safeguarding them and ensuring that every time they go swimming, they will do so safely and with enjoyment.

10 Best Advice for Family Water Safety

A person's actions in and around the water are all part of water safety. Teach your children these 10 fundamental water safety guidelines before taking them to the lake, beach, or pool to ensure their enjoyment and safety.

1. Don't ever swim In Alone

Only if a lifeguard is on duty should people go swimming. The people in the lake, ocean, or pool are not the only thing that lifeguards observe. In addition to keeping an eye on the water, their duty is to inform swimmers of any potential safety issues and dubious situations. They are also taught how to act swiftly in emergency situations.

For both children and adults, it's a good idea to employ the buddy system when swimming in addition to swimming in an area where there is a lifeguard on duty. To ensure that they can protect one another in the event that their parents aren't present in the water, teach your youngster always to swim with a friend or sibling. Along with being more enjoyable, swimming with a friend also assures that there is someone to turn to for assistance if anything really goes wrong.

2. Keep an eye on children in the water

We recognize that parents too require some downtime. However, it's important to pay attention when your kids are in the water. A parent should always be within arm's reach of a kid as a basic guideline. This guideline applies whether they are swimming in a lake, ocean, bathtub, or a swimming pool. Parents of older children should be around and keep an eye on their kids. Even children who are good swimmers need monitoring since they are likely to try tricks, flips, and dives in the water, all of which can be hazardous.

The greatest approach to stay on guard when your kids are swimming is to put your phone aside and just spend time together. If there are other adults there, you can alternate watching the pool so that everyone has an adequate chance to unwind. The greatest way to avoid an accident is to work together to keep your kids safe.

3. Avoid playing breath-hold sports.

Children shouldn't hold their breath for an extended period of time when swimming because doing so increases the chance of drowning and other serious concerns. Make sure kids are aware that games like "see who really can hold their breath the longest" and other similar contests can be hazardous and shouldn't be played during any water-related activity.

A swimmer is more likely to pass out underwater if they hold their breath for too long or hyperventilate (breathe quicker or deeper than usual) before plunging under the water. Children who compete in competitive swimming should acquire the right breathing methods to prevent issues during sessions or competitions.

4. Constantly put on a life vest

A life jacket approved by the Coast Guard should always be worn around water by young children or unskilled swimmers. Water wings, floaters, pool noodles, and other items that advertise that they can keep kids afloat are available on the market, but in an actual emergency, these cannot take the place of life preservers or other lifesaving equipment. Ensure that a parent or other responsible adult is nearby when using these goods with children.

Also keep in mind that wearing a life jacket or even other flotation gear is never a valid reason to disregard other water safety precautions. Whenever it comes to remaining safe near water, life jackets are insufficient on their own.

5. Refrain from diving into the water to rescue a friend.

A young person's first inclination may be to step in and assist if they witness a friend fighting to maintain their composure. But if they did, they might both end up in the water and die. The Y's Safety around Water program suggests the "reach, throw, don't go" strategy, which entails utilizing a long instrument to bring a floundering swimmer to safety. Children can assist a buddy in need while avoiding danger to them by employing this method.

6. Dip Your Feet into the Water

Kids who jump or dive into relatively shallow head first risk serious harm. Make sure your youngster knows how to enter and depart the pool safely. If they want to jump and dive, make sure you show them how to do it properly and indicate the locations where it is okay to do so. No matter what deep the water is, don't allow jumping if your pool doesn't have a specific place for it.

7. Avoid Swimming Pool Drains

When your child even starts playing, it's a good idea to demonstrate them what the swimming drain looks like and emphasize the value of staying away from it. Children have drowned or suffered major injuries after getting their hair, bathing suits, or even limbs stuck in damaged or broken drains. Teach kids to avoid certain sections of swimming pools, especially if a drain is lacking a cover or otherwise seems damaged. Report one right away if you spot one that appears to be acting strangely.

8. Remain in Pool Areas That Are Protected

Staying inside the approved swim areas is essential to your safety whether you are swimming in a lake, ocean, or pool. Inform kids about ropes and the purpose for which they are used to divide pools. Always observe the rules that your local lifeguards have created, especially if you're swimming in a lake or ocean. Never urge a child to swim in water deep than their capabilities will allow. They have a good understanding of the water and, in the case of oceans and lakes enough information regarding how it changes on a daily basis to provide prudent and current safety advice.

9. Abstain from Alcohol

Most parents and their older children should heed this counsel. Talking with kids about alcohol gets more and more important as they become older. Alcohol affects balance, concentration, and judgment. It affects a person's swimming prowess and may even cause a drop in body temperature. Make sure your kids are aware of the dangers of combining alcohol use with water play because they frequently see images of young adults and teens drinking by the pool on television and in movies.

Parents must use prudence as well. Never drink alcohol while keeping an eye on your kids in the water. In addition to making you preoccupied, it might prevent you from responding effectively if an emergency arises.

10. Develop your CPR skills

Although we sincerely hope that your family will abide by all of these precautions and be safe in the water, accidents do, unfortunately, happen. Bystanders are frequently the first to respond and act in the event of a drowning incidence or pool-related disaster. Knowing how to do CPR on both children and adults is essential if you're a parent responsible for watching your kids. The ability to conduct CPR effectively can make the distinction between life and death. Get your CPR certification from the American Red Cross, your neighborhood hospital, or other local groups, and maintain it current.

Teach Your Children Water Safety

Parents may pay attention to these norms and principles, internalize them, and follow them without ever explaining our actions to our kids. Explain to your youngster why wearing a life vest is necessary. When you're not with them, explain why they shouldn't ever go swimming. Tell them how important it is to stay out of deep or muddy water. You may encourage your kids to apply more of the they've learnt as they get older by being open and honest with them.

It's crucial to teach your kids how to stay safe around water, just as you teach your kids to look both ways when crossing the street. The above-mentioned water safety advice can help you do this, but putting it into action will solidify these ideas and guarantee that you have taught your child how to swim properly.

Participating in swim classes is the best approach to teach kids about water safety. Children gain knowledge in these programs beyond only swimming. The danger of drowning can be greatly decreased by taking swimming lessons, particularly for young children between the ages of 1 and 4. Children are less likely to put themselves in risky situations if they are taught water safety regulations and how to swim, and they will have more resources to deal with those that do emerge.

A quality swimming teaching program ought to provide:

  1. Instructors that are constantly in the water with the pupils
  2. Teachers that have received swim instructor training and are also CPR and first aid qualified
  3. A location where parents may watch
  4. very small class sizes
  5. When teaching strokes, survival skills should be taught.

Equipment for Water Safety

Noodles for the pool, floats, loungers, and inflated toys aren't a substitute for a life jacket that has been certified by the Coast Guard, as we previously stated. Since they wrongly think these products will keep their kids safe in the water, this phrase frequently causes confusion among parents.

Children can learn to swim with the help of floats, water wings, and inflated toys. They work best when a kid is being watched over by an adult who is close by and available to step in if the kid starts to struggle. As a youngster explores the water and discovers both their strengths and weaknesses, they can help them gain trust.

It is your responsibility as a parent to recognize the distinctions and dangers associated with utilizing these products. Regrettably, some people believe that if a child starts to drown or if something unexpected happens in the pool, these life jackets will save them.

A life vest cannot be substituted for. None of the aforementioned items can save a kid who is struggling in the water or prevent them from drowning.

Ask someone if you're unsure of the best approach to keep your child safe or what equipment will help them learn to swim.

Your child's swim teacher and their wealth of expertise are available to you when you sign up your child for swim lessons at the Gate Region YMCA. Ask away, and don't beat yourself up if you found out you've done it wrong. Our mission is to assist parents in the Southwest Illinois and St. Louis regions in finding better ways to safeguard their children near and in water.

If your family frequently uses a YMCA pool, be careful to familiarize themselves with the pool's water safety accessory policies. There are usually restrictions on the equipment that can be used in a pool. Some also have guidelines stating that parents must remain a specific distance away from any children using them. You and your child will have a better swimming time if you are aware of the rules in advance.

Ask your local YMCA water sports director what equipment is accessible for use at our pools if your family doesn't already have a life vest or other water safety device that has been approved by the Coast Guard for use in the pool.


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