I have been a certified lifeguard for 8 years. Over the years I have guarded in a variety of locations, from waterparks to health clubs to lakes to swim teams. In each place I’ve worked I’ve been reminded of the unique challenges that each location poses to water safety. I’ve also performed rescues at each location I’ve worked at. As the weather gets warmer and more families flock to the pool to escape the heat I’ve decided to share my top 5 water safety tips.
1. Use approved life jackets or floaties for your children
Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) that are United States Coast Guard approved are designed to keep the person on their back. This means if your child loses their balance and falls over or floats out of the area where they cannot touch the bottom, the PFD is designed to keep their face out of the water."
2. Stay within arm’s reach
I recommend following the 25:10 rule. If a child cannot swim 25 yards continuously, an adult should be within 10 feet of them. If you will be leaving the pool area you should take your children with you or pass the duty of watching the children onto another adult.
3. Keep your eyes on the pool
Even though many swimming spots are staffed with lifeguards they are not able to give 1:1 attention to all the individuals at the pool. If your child is able to pass the swim test it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on them. Visit Abbey’s Hope to learn about taking the Water Watchdog pledge.
4. Use sunscreen and drink water
Sunburn and dehydration are a sure way to ruin a nice day out. Make sure you bring plenty of water with you and drink it throughout the day. Also reapply sunscreen at least every two hours.
5. Follow posted signs and rules
Rules and signs are posted for a reason. Read all signs before you enter the area so you know if there are any extra precautions to take. It is important to not only know the rules for yourself, but to also make sure your children understand and follow the rules as well.
Authored by: Victoria Cartland
Edited by: Kaity Klotzbach