So many of our friends and families are heading off to tropical vacations this winter/ spring break and so we wanted to remind you of a few things. First, if your child has not been swimming since the summer, they have may have lost some of their skills that they had while swimming more often. At Njswim we see children regress after being out of lessons for a few weeks. This is why year round swimming is so important; it helps to keep skills sharp with regular practice.
- Whenever infants and toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within an arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
- In addition to parental supervision of young children, designate a “Water Watcher” to maintain constant watch over children in or near the water. The “Water Watcher’s” job is to watch the water at all times, without engaging in social activities, conversations, phone calls, reading, computer use, cooking, cleaning, or any other distracting activity. After fifteen minutes, a new “Water Watcher” should be designated so that supervision stays fresh. Ensure that the “Water Watcher” is a sober adult who knows CPR and has basic swimming skills.
- Do not use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. “Water wings” or “floaties,” inflatable water rings, and other pool toys are NOT safety devices. Some flotation devices are designed to assist with building swimming skills and are designed to tilt children into a forward swimming motion. This could create risk for an unassisted young swimmer. Only US Coast Guard approved life jackets are designed and tested for safety.
- Lifeguards are often not present or required at resort type pools. If they are available, make sure that children are swimming near the lifeguard. Remember lifeguards on duty are required to survey the entire pool. Please do not substitute your own supervision with those on duty.
In the event that you are traveling with your family or friends this winter/spring always practice the Safer 3 and get in the water with your kids! Most of all have fun!