Did you know that May is National Water Safety Month? As we get ready for summer with lots of fun in the sun, beach, and pool trips ahead, we would love to highlight our top tips to stay safe with children near the water!

 

Plan ahead: Before heading to a pool or beach, plan ahead! Review a map or photos of the location. If you are visiting a public pool, become familiar with the water safety rules and understand any hazards, such as deep water, water slides, or water features. If you are visiting a private pool at a home, discuss the pool safety rules with the host beforehand. Ensure they understand where your child is from a water safety standpoint and support you and your child’s abilities and needs. If you are visiting a beach, research the terrain, currents, tides, and if there are any drop offs or known water hazards. Remember to pack the life jackets! Arriving prepared will allow you to have more time to enjoy!

 

Encourage safety and swimming with children: The sooner children can build a relationship with water, the better! Introduce water activities and discuss safety in an age-appropriate manner starting in infancy! If possible, enroll the children in swim lessons or explore a refresher course before summer is in full swing. We all get a little rusty and deconditioned after time away from swimming!

 

Be present and have fun: Be physically present in the water when children are in the pool, especially if there are children with varying abilities. A quick rule of thumb is to keep new swimmers within arm’s length! Think of fun water activities to play with the children. Who doesn’t love water play in a safe environment?!

 

Stay alert: In addition to being physically present, adults must stay alert! An emergency can arise in seconds and can be easily missed!  We recommend keeping your phone in your bag when with children at the pool or beach! Practice water breaks with the children, so that everyone can rest and recharge! If you are planning or attending a private pool party or event, consider hiring a lifeguard to ensure everyone stays safe, has peace of mind, and fun!

 

Get Certified: First aid and CPR certification is a requirement for nannies at EN. We believe this is an invaluable tool for all caretakers and parents alike. We highly recommend courses through the American Red Cross or Save A Little Life (insert link) before the summer season is in full swing! When it comes to water safety, you can never be too prepared!

 

Know the signs: Become familiar with the signs of drowning and water-related injuries. Many times, the signs can be missed, but becoming informed will allow you to stay present and alert while understanding when to help! So what are the signs of drowning?

 

  • Quietness or silence: Oftentimes drowning can be quiet or silent. Keep an eye out for those who become silent when swimming. Check-in with them, both verbally and with physical contact. Also, be on the lookout for a child staying submerged after jumping into the water.
  • Fatigue or lack of movement: If you notice a change in swimming or movement, check in with the child or swimmer. Weak movement, inability to swim, or no movement can be a key sign of an emergency!
  • Positioning: Notice the positioning of swimmers in the water. A vertical position, head tilted back, or floating at the surface are signs that a swimmer is in danger.
  • Visible and audible clues: Gasping for air, coughing, hyperventilation, or skin turning blue are all signs that swimmers need intervention immediately.
  • Trust your gut: Remember, if you ever feel unsure, it never hurts to check-in. It could save a life!