Childhood Drowning Prevention Forum

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Summer is around the corner and SwimKids of Georgia would like to share some safety tips to help you get the most out of those lazy days at the pool, lake or beach.

1. Make sure that you cover your child in a good waterproof sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays.

Remember that it takes between 10 to 30 minutes for the sunscreen to absorb and activate once it hits the skin, so apply the first layer before leaving the house. Use a UV long-sleeved sun shirt to ensure that your little ones don’t get sunburn.

2. Even children that swim well need constant supervision in and around the water.

All adults that are on “pool duty” should know how to swim and know CPR.  You should rotate “pool duty” every 15 minutes and make sure the adult on duty knows it’s their turn. Never assume someone else is watching the kids, unless you are certain!

3. Take frequent breaks.

Your children may not appear to be tired, but it’s hot in the sun and swimming is physically tiring. A good rule of thumb is that lifeguards at most pools call adult swim every hour for 15 minutes.  If you do not have a lifeguard at your pool, make you children take a break at least every 30 minutes; which would be a good time to reapply sun screen and to have something to drink.

4. Make sure your children stay hydrated.

You may be in the water, but you also need to drink plenty of water when out in the sun. Stick with water, juices and soda are loaded with sugar which tend to be even more dehydrating in the sun.

5. Wearing a Coast Guard approved life vest is vital on a boat.

Wearing a Coast Guard approved life vest is vital on a boat; but floatation never takes the place of learning survival swimming. Wearing flotation in the water results in a false sense of security. Children don’t know that they cannot swim without their “floaties”; Puddle Jumpers or arm floaties or any other such device that actively teach your children how to assume a vertical body position that actually reinforces drowning.

6. Learning how to float is lifesaving

Please make sure your children know how to roll on their backs to a float; this can be learned as early as 6 months.

SwimKids of Georgia wishes you all a safe, fun summer!

Swim, Float, Survive!