Arizona is pretty warm all year round, meaning you can easily find a great outdoor waterway to splash around in or use your own home pool to stay cool. Around Gilbert, you’ll also find many pools, splash pads, and other waterways where you and your family can have fun in the water. However, it’s important that you and your kids abide by important water safety tips that can prevent drowning or other injuries. Here are seven vital water safety tips you should know when having fun in the water in Gilbert.

Get Your Children Swimming Lessons

Image via Flickr by thomasrdotorg Licensed CC BY 2.0

The first tip is to sign your child up for swimming lessons if they’re at an appropriate age to do so. While there is no set age for when kids can start learning to swim, the earlier they learn, the better prepared they’ll be in the water. 

Swimming lessons are typically split up by age group, with each group learning age- and skill-appropriate swimming skills and water safety tips. For infants and toddlers, these classes are more like parent-and-child classes that teach parents about water safety, help little ones get used to being in the water, and promote muscle memory for self-rescue techniques. Other swim classes for kids, typically ages 4 years old and up, teach children how to float, use different strokes to move through water, and follow water safety rules, like always asking for a parent’s permission before going near the water.

Here are some places around Gilbert that offer swimming lessons to children of all ages:

Always Watch Kids When They’re Around the Water

There should always be a responsible adult supervising children when they’re near bodies of water or playing in the water. That’s because, no matter how well a child swims or how sturdy their floatation devices may be, an accident can happen in a flash, resulting in an injury or drowning. 

You should always keep an eye on your own children, regardless of whether there’s a lifeguard or other adults watching. But when you’re not around to watch, you should make sure there will be a sober adult around whose only job is to supervise kids in and around the pool, lake, river, or other body of water. If you’re with a group of adults and children, designate a “water watcher” who will stay alert and devote their full attention to children in the water.

Teach Kids To Seek Parents’ Permission To Go Swimming

Kids should never swim on their own, as swimming alone can increase the risk of accidental and fatal drowning. That’s why you should teach your kids to not go near or in the water until they get your permission first. When they ask you, you can decide whether you’re able to dedicate your attention to watching them have fun in the water and determine whether the circumstances, such as the depth of the water, are safe.

In addition, you can also teach them the Red Cross’s Water Habits Are Learned Early (WHALE) method of Reach or Throw, Don’t Go. This tip encourages children to throw a lifesaver or another flotation device to save a friend struggling in the water rather than jump in after them.

Make Sure Kids Wear Age-Appropriate Flotation Devices

Life jackets, wearable arm floaties, and other flotation assistance devices can help prevent children of all ages from drowning. These devices, when properly inflated and maintained, can keep kids afloat and ensure their heads stay above water while swimming. Children should always wear life jackets when riding on boats, using kayaks and canoes, and when on other watercraft, just in case they go into the water. 

When choosing the right type of personal floatation devices (PFDs) to pack, keep in mind:

  • How much your child weighs since PFDs are based on weight as opposed to age.
  • What type of water-based activity your kids will be doing.
  • The kind of water you’ll be in, such as rough tides or calm waters.
  • How well your child can swim.

Prevent Children From Going Near Drains

Pool drains may consistently be filtering water out of the pool, causing a subtle or significant amount of suction in certain areas of the pool. These drains are supposed to have vents and other protective coverings, but they can sometimes come loose or even get broken. Everyone, but especially kids, should avoid swimming near these drains to avoid accidentally getting hair, clothes, or extremities stuck, no matter the condition of the drain. If something were to get stuck, a swimmer may not be able to pull themselves free and risk drowning.

Go to Waterways and Pools With a Lifeguard Present

You can increase the number of eyes on your kids in the water when you swim at places that have lifeguards on duty. Even better, seek out bodies of water that have multiple lifeguards at a time. Swimming when there’s a lifeguard present ensures there’s at least one person who can perform lifesaving techniques, like CPR, on children and adults who suffer an injury or start drowning. However, a lifeguard has many people to supervise, so you should still do your part in watching your kids while they swim.

Encourage Kids To Play Safely in and Around the Water

Being at the lake or pool can be a lot of fun, and kids may want to run around the pool while chasing friends. Most public pools explicitly ban running around the pool as it’s easy to slip, fall, and hurt yourself or fall into the water. Remind your kids to walk when they’re around a body of water.

Another rule of the pool is to only dive into the deep end. Some pools ban diving altogether because the pool isn’t deep enough or just because diving can be dangerous. Teach your kids that, if they’re going to jump into the deep end, they should do so feet-first to avoid bumping their head on the pool floor or getting injured another way. For little ones who aren’t yet able to jump in safely, have them carefully climb down the stairs or ladder to get into the pool.

Lastly, don’t promote potentially hazardous pool games, like the “hold your breath” game, which can lead to accidental drowning.

At Crème de la Crème of Gilbert, we prioritize your children’s safety, thanks to video cameras around the facility and a biometric finger print scanner at the entrance, among other security features that protect students, teachers, and staff. Contact us today to learn more about how our whole-child curriculum and safe learning environment can help your child thrive.