What comes with the warm weather of summer time? The desire to dip our bodies into water to cool off and feel refreshed, of course. While this is certainly fun and can lend itself for a great time, it can also be very dangerous.
I think for the most part we all know that we need to be very careful while we spend time around water.
Whether it be at the beach, the lake, or a swimming pool, using our heads really is a must.
I’d like to share a short story with you.
Just days after deciding to write this article, my 3 1/2 year old, precious grandson almost drown. My daughter is one of the most careful momma’s you would ever meet. Yet, it nearly happened to them while plenty of adults were sitting right there. Their little man was playing on the steps and having the best time, until someone made a few unexpected waves that jostled the water enough to knock him off the step…. and down he went.
Now, their story does have a happy ending. Dad reached in and pulled him out. He coughed up all sorts of water, or as he likes to tell me, “Meme’ I choked!” And then he was happy to get in the bathtub for his bath before bedtime. So, no long-time fear was instilled in him thank goodness.
This was a serious reality-check for mom and dad though. While spending time cooling off in water is a great way to have fun, we also have to remember to keep our heads about us and put safety first.
The internet is full of websites with all the lists of water related do’s and don’ts. I will include the links to some of my favorites below, but here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Always be on your guard. It’s in those moments when you let your guard down that accidents can happen. It sounds so simple, but as parents, we all know how easy it is to get distracted.
- Don’t assume someone else is at the helm. Have communication between all the adults to be assured someone’s eyes are on the kiddo’s at all times.
- Do not, and I repeat, do not count on inflatable devices. Water wings and various blow-up rings, will not keep your child safe. They offer a false sense of security. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve used them over the years for my kiddos, but one of us always stayed right there, just in case.
- Invest in properly fitting life jackets for those who cannot swim.
- Sign-up for swim lessons where they will learn all the basics for water safety in a swim class lead by a trained adult.
- Take a CPR course. In the event an emergency does occur, you will know just what to do to achieve a positive outcome.
- Stay hydrated. The fact you are buoyantly bobbing around in water does not keep your body nourished with fluids. Be sure to drink lots of water, (but not the water you are swimming in!)
- Oh! And don’t forget your sunscreen! Additionally, remember to reapply according to the directions on the container.
With that said, the following websites can help you keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe this summer, while still enjoying the water:
- I think my favorite list was the one I found at KidsHealth. It provides safety suggestions for the various places you may go to for water fun; beaches, lakes, ponds, swimming pools, etc. And it offers ideas to consider while you are at each of those locations.
- The American Red Cross has a great list to utilize in keeping your little swimmer(s) safe.
- The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is another website that has some great suggestions.
So, take a few minutes to read over these reminders that will assure your family has a great time in and around the water while keeping everyone safe! I wish you and your families the best of summers with lots of cool, yet safe, water fun!
Keep it safe this summer!