Summer is finally here! School’s out, the weather is warming up, and many families are planning a vacation. Whether it’s a week in a condo at the beach, camping at the lake, or an overnight staycation at a local hotel, most summer vacations involve water play.
The general rules of water safety you use at home still apply, but there are some special considerations to be made when you’re vacationing.
- Before swimming in a new environment, you and your children should identify the shallow and deep ends of a pool, potential dangers in a pool or other body of water, entry/exit points, and location of lifeguards. Give children rules for where they may and may not swim.
- Have a parent be the designated “water watcher”. The designated water watcher should not be under the influence of anything while children are in or near water.
Near open water (river, lake, ocean):
- At the beach, do not rely solely on lifeguards for the safety of your children. It is difficult to monitor crowded situations, and you need to be ready to act first if your child needs help. The same thing goes for waterparks.
- Check the depth of the water before diving or jumping. The American Red Cross recommends a minimum of 9 feet deep. Always go into unfamiliar water FEET FIRST.
- Avoid riptides. Let your child know that swimming parallel to the shore is a way to escape a riptide current.
- Children should always wear a fitted life jacket on boats and around any open bodies of water. But remember, a life jacket doesn’t replace parental supervision!
At a hotel:
- Always accompany children to the hotel pool. Do not let them swim unsupervised and never assume someone else is watching your child.
- The hotel hot tub is not a place for young children. According to the CDC, children under age 5 should not use hot tubs at all. Children older than 5 should be tall enough to stand in the middle of the hot tub with their head completely above water. Children overheat more quickly than adults, so soaking time should be limited to 5 minutes at a time, especially at a max temp of 104 degrees. Avoiding full body immersion can help avoid overheating, which can lead to a racing heart, drowsiness, unconsciousness, heat stroke, or even death. Teach your child to never put her head under water in a hot tub and to keep long hair away from drains! As with any body of water, adult supervision is a must.
We can’t stress enough that supervision is key. Many children haven’t been swimming for a while, perhaps even since last summer, and they may have regressed in their skill level. Taking lessons throughout the year helps with skill retention and mastery. Aqua-Tots Swim Schools offer year-round lessons in comfortable, heated pools. Find a location near you at www.aqua-tots.com!
Aqua-Tots Swim Schools wants your kids to be safe this summer, at home, and on vacation. No matter where you are, make it Safety First, Fun Every Second!