Summer is one of the most anticipated seasons of the year, and for a good reason too. It’s the time when kids’ holidays coincide with parents’ vacation. It affords families a perfect time to unwind outdoors as the weather heats up. Activities like picnics, camping, and swimming take center stage during this season.
The heat makes swimming more appealing and presents a perfect opportunity for kids to cool off in a pool or lake. It’s important to be more water safety conscious during summer. Drowning is the second most rampant cause of unintentional death in children under 14 years, with over 3,600 injuries occurring to children due to near-drowning incidents.
A Necessary Refresher
In a typically playful and carefree manner, kids can be forgetful, especially with things that have little or no correlation to fun and excitement. More likely than not, they’d forget to be careful when in and around water before the summer season. Hence, the need for parents to have an “exciting” refresher course with them. Kids learn in unique fashions. Some are more visually inclined, others learn by doing, while some learn faster through songs. Parents must determine the best way to present water safety rules for kids. Here are tips on refreshing the rules without making it a dull or forgetful experience.
Back to the Basics
As kids come of age and start exploring, these are some basic rules parents should instill in them.
Don’t Swim Alone
It is important to teach your kids that they only go swimming with friends in your absence. Or better still, only to swim when there are lifeguards around. This way, the experience is richer, and watchful eyes are around to guarantee safety.
Always Use a Life Vest
Mandate your kids to wear a life jacket when swimming. Ensure they use certified life jackets at all times.
Avoid Breath-Holding Games
Kids always have a trick or two up their sleeves. You must instruct them that holding their breath underwater can lead to fainting and drowning.
Don’t Be a Hero
When kids see their friends struggling, the first instinct might be to jump right in. Rather, parents need to educate them to seek a lifeguard. Or, just as helpfully, reach for a floating object and throw it towards the person.
Out of excitement, kids might be eager to jump headfirst into the pool. It could lead to a collision and subsequently a concussion. If they must engage in diving, teach them how to and monitor strictly. Kids often struggle to remember rules word for word. It is more advisable to engage them dialogically, proffering reasons why things should go that way. Rather than say, “Don’t dive in the pool headfirst.” You can highlight the hazard involved by saying, “Don’t dive in the pool headfirst, so you don’t have a concussion.”
Never Too Late to Refresh
Research shows that kids learn faster and retain information more if attached to an emotion or event. Some scenarios present themselves as unique learning moments. Parents need to know how to harness these opportunities to enforce and refresh water safety rules.
This is a perfect time to explain the importance of a life vest to the kids. Teach them how it must fit comfortably around the body and sit pretty on the shoulders. Also, how to transition out of it.
Playing Games in Water
Some games could distract kids from their priority — staying safe. While playing games with your kids, you can cease that moment to teach them about the hazards of holding their breath while swimming. This vivid picture will help them avoid breath-holding contests in the future.
Swimming in Deeper Depths
If you happen to be swimming in deep pools with your kids, it gives you good leverage to explain the dangers of swimming at such depth without a guide. You can also explain the importance of mindfulness and more attention to the rules.
Swimming Outside vs. Inside
Anytime you change swimming locations from an outdoor to an indoor setting or vice versa, you should leverage the opportunity to emphasize that all the rules still apply. There are no specific rules for indoor or outdoor swimming.
Safety Rules Application
Has your kid ever asked why you’re using sunscreen or sunhats outdoors? That’s a perfect teachable moment to help them realize the importance of safety rules like kids’ prescription sunglasses. You can educate them on how prescription sunglasses for kids and toddlers will help prevent ultraviolet rays and keep them safe.
Respecting and Helping Parents Supervise
Visiting lakes or beaches is a great time to remind kids they need to be within eyesight. The waves and the current of the beach make perfect timing for a refresher on adult supervision before they swim. While older kids are instructed to help monitor younger kids.
Capture the Imagination
The key to teaching kids is practice. It is not enough to instruct once and expect results. You need to become more creative with water safety refreshers. Use techniques such as dialogic, vivid imagery, songs, and stories to capture their imaginations.