School is out, summer is here, and it's hot. Let's hit the pool. Just be sure to make safety your first priority.
Death by drowning is the number one leading accidental cause of death for children ages 1 to 4. These fundamental rules will help keep your children safe in the pool but every situation involving water may have its own unique risks. Make sure you are aware of the particular risks for boating, canoeing, swimming at the beach and any other activity where water is present or close by.
- Never leave a child unattended in the water or near the water. Never. Assign a designated person to be the lifeguard and be sure everyone knows who is watching the kids.
- Avoid distractions. Put away the cell phone or magazine and anything else that may take your eyes off the prize.
- If you need to leave the pool area take the kids with you. Do not be tempted to leave them in the pool alone for even a moment.
- Teach children how to swim at an early age.
- Brush up on your own swimming skills and make sure anyone watching the kids knows how to swim.
- Install appropriate barriers, masks, covers, alarms and locks on and around the pool and spa area. Be sure these measures are in place if your child is visiting a home with a pool or spa.
- Teach children to stay away from pool and spa drains.
- Keep rescue equipment on the pool deck such as a shepherds hook or life preserver and know how to use them.
- Purchase the correct flotation devices. Do your own research for safe, age appropriate devices but never use them as a substitute for adult supervision.
- Establish pool rules and enforce them. Let your children learn that the consequence of disobeying the rules is: NO SWIMMING.
Games are a fun way for the family to enjoy the pool and will strengthen everyone's swimming skills.
Show off your dance moves in the water. Each team comes up with a water dance routine. Add props such as hats, noodles or boogie boards. Give them 60 seconds to show their best moves and then assign points for creativity, silliness, best synchronized, etc.
One player will be "It" and will stand with their back to the pool. The other players will think of a color and keep it to themselves. "It" will call out one color at a time. If your color is called out, you must try to swim across the pool without "It" hearing you. If "It" hears movement in the water "It" can jump in the water and tag the swimming player. The tagged player then becomes the "IT".
Dolphin Race or Relay
This game can be played as a race with two players or as a relay with teams. Players must push a beach ball across the length of the pool using only their noses. If they use their hands they must start over. The first player or team to reach the end of the pool wins.
Swimming is a great recreational sport for people of all ages. So splash in and swim safe.