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Swim Safety Tips for Kids

Kids Swimming.jpg

Summer can be sizzling hot in Sacramento, and there's no better time to cool off in the pool than now. Children more than anyone love to play, swim, and splash in the water, but we should remember that there are risks involved as well. According to experts from the U.S. Swim School Association (USSSA), 3,533 people die each year from drowning accidents, with 50% of that number children under 4 who are victims of drowning in residential pools. How can we teach our kids to stay safe around water?

There are two key strategies to keeping your kids safe, both of which you should enact: stationary defense and active response. Stationary defense means the use of locks, alarms, and fences to keep small children away from the phone, proper supervision, first aid and CPR training, etc. Active response, meanwhile, entails giving your children the tools they need to swim to safety should they fall in the water. Let's look at the USSSA's most important tips for active response that we can teach our kids:

  • Flip and float: Teach small children that if they fall in the water, they should flip onto their back and yell for help in order to be rescued.
  • Find the side: Make sure your children should know where the side of the pool is - have them stay close by it if they're beginning swimmers. Staying by the side will help your child get out quickly should they become tired and unable to swim.
  • Clothes test: One way to know whether your child can fall in the pool and swim to safety is to do a "clothes test:" have them jump into the pool fully clothed and then watch them swim to the side. Make it a fun exercise.
  • Throw, don't go: Kids must understand that the best way of saving a friend who fell into the pool is not to jump in after them, but to throw them a life preserver or other floating object that can then be dragged in to safety.
  • Take a lap: A great goal for your children's safety in water is to ensure they can swim a lap around the pool. Hold an informal test now and then and reward them with a treat for their achievement.

The above teaching tools form the active-response strategy your child will need to survive - and thrive - in the swimming pool. It's a simple truth that safety is often a matter of knowledge and training, and one of the best ways to protect your kids from tragedy is to share the practical skills can use for any situation.

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