Child Safety and Water

Many children love to play in and around water. Few activities are as much fun on a hot day as a quick dip in a swimming pool. It is important, therefore, for every parent to teach their children how to be safe in and around the water. It is never too early to start these important lessons.

Lessons

These days there are swimming classes for toddlers and even babies, in addition to the more traditional preschool and school-age child swimming lessons. It is a good idea for parents to take advantage of these early swimming lessons in order to give their children a strong basis of skills they can draw on if they get into trouble.

Respect

It is also important to teach children to respect water, while at the same time teaching them not to be overly fearful around pools, ponds and other sources of water. It is important to strike a balance between overconfidence, which could lead to problems later on, and excessive timidity, which could cause the child to miss out on the fun of swimming and other water-based activities.

Supervision

Of course, never leave a young child around water without supervision, even if that child is a very good swimmer. There is no substitute for the vigilant attention of a parent. It’s essential that every parent carefully watch the child any time he or she plays in or around the water.

All Sources of Water

This goes for any source of water, not only the community or backyard pool. Any source of water, even very shallow ones, can pose a danger to young children. A young child can just as easily drown in a bathtub or even a bucket as in a swimming pool or at the beach. It is important, therefore, for the parent to drain the bathtub, and empty any buckets, if the child cannot be supervised, even for a short time. It is also important to cover hot tubs and pools when not in use. In addition, a sturdy fence around the swimming pool is important, and in many cases a  legally mandated safety measure.

As the kids get older and begin to swim and enjoy the water on their own, it is important to teach them about the differences between standing water, like swimming pools, and moving water, like the beach, a lake or a stream. Moving water can have surprising power, and it is important to teach children to respect that power. Teaching children to expect the unexpected, and prepare for it, is an essential safety lesson for all aspects of life.

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