Swimming Safety Tips for Children
Whether you have pool in your backyard or you’re headed to the beach, swimming is a great form of exercise. Children are especially encouraged to swim because of its long-term health benefits.
“Swimming supports good heart and lung health, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even promotes good balance and posture, says Anita Sinha MD, PIH Health pediatrician. “This low-impact activity doesn’t put too much pressure on their body which helps to develop healthy joints and muscles.”
Before you let your children cannon ball into the pool, there are safety measures that should be implemented for safe swimming.
Don’t leave them unattended. The first, and most important rule is to never leave your children swimming without adult supervision. Regardless of whether they have a life vest, floaties or other safety devices, you should always keep a close eye on them.
Sunscreen. Your child’s first instinct may be to put on their swimsuit and get right into the pool. Make sure before they do that, they are applying a generous amount of sunscreen. Teach them at a young age how important it is to wear sunscreen every day and especially when out in the sun.
Get into the water feet first. Injuries can occur when children try to jump into the water head first. The area may be shallow which can cause them to hit their head or other body parts. Make sure your children know the proper way to enter the pool.
Stay within selected swim areas. Designated swim areas are there for a reason. Don’t let your children swim past these areas, regardless of their age or level of swimming experience. Teach your children to follow the rules and don’t encourage them to swim in areas that aren’t allowed.
Learn CPR. Learning how to perform CPR is instrumental when caring for children no matter the setting. If your child has a drowning accident and/or is not breathing for any reason, call an ambulance and perform CPR in the meantime. Check with your local community center to see if CPR classes are available in your area.