Don’t look at your cell phone. You’re only answering a text message, but within that minute your child could have slipped underwater unable to breathe.
Assign one adult to supervise. If you are with more than one adult, assign one person who is responsible to watch. A child could accidentally go unsupervised if Mom thinks Dad is watching and vice versa.
Have your child ask permission before entering the water.
Don’t let your child convince you that they don’t need their floatation device. You are the adult. Air on the side of caution especially if they are under 6 years old or somewhat inexperienced swimmers who usually wear floatation devices.
Do not rely solely on a lifeguard to watch your kids! The lifeguard is there as an added precaution. They try to prevent situations that could result in drowning or injury and are there to make rescues as well as provide First Aid. Lifeguards may be watching 20+ people at once and are susceptible to human error. Always supervise your child.
Have a swimming instructor teach you and your child about Water Safety. Research shows that children who take formal swim lessons are 88% less likely to drown.
Keep your eyes on your child when you are having a conversation. Politely let others know that you can talk, but cannot make eye contact because you are watching your child. Children have silently drown when a parent has turned their back for 2 minutes during a conversation.
Have them take breaks. They might be having so much fun that they don’t rest when needed. This leaves children compromised and vulnerable to a dangerous situation.
Floatation devices do not replace supervision! Last year a 5 year old drowned after his friend unclipped his puddle jumper. These devices are helpful in reducing your stress level and in allowing your child to swim more freely, but a deadly situation can occur even while wearing one.
Teach your child what to do if they see someone else in danger. They can get a lifeguard, a parent or even call 911. Children can help prevent life threatening situations.