A Must Read For All Parents: May Is National Water Safety Month!

Tips on how to help keep your family safe around the water this summer!

By Kristen Seaton, Owner of Powers Aquatics May 17, 2022

Summer is coming soon! This means lots of cookouts, end of year parties, pools, beaches, lakes, ponds and FUN!

I am due with number five in just a few short weeks. This summer my kids will be 6, 4.5, 3,1.5 and I will have a newborn. I plan to spend as much time around water as possible and if you know me you know I will NEVER put my children in a floatation device in clear water (more on that later).  

For Father's Day this year we plan to head to a family member's house who has a pool.  All my kids will want to be in the water as much as possible so my husband and I will have a plan before we arrive on how to divide and conquer the day. In this sort of party environment my husband and I will switch off being a water watcher.  This job entails acting as a lifeguard and scanning the pool at all times, not to be distracted by other conversations.  Our children have set guidelines that we require them to follow in the pool, if they cannot be followed they will sit out.  These are simple guidelines such as asking to enter the water for the first time, never touching another child in the water and no roughhousing - pretty simple but also keeps them safe.  I will get in the water and play with my kids while wearing baby number five in a carrier. I will let the two youngest swim off the stairs to me and back, get rings, do jumps off the wall taking turns the whole time. My oldest two are fully independent swimmers and I will constantly scan back to them as I am swimming with the others. 

I get asked all of the time, what can I put my child in when I don't want to be in the water. My answer is nothing. If my husband or I are not in the water then our kids are not in the water. My older 2 are allowed in without us, but have to ask permission before entering the pool, if they did not they would sit out. As well as my husband or I will ALWAYS be poolside watching them, as a designated water watcher, undistracted.

I have never and will never utilize flotation devices for my children in the pool, here are some of the reasons why:

  1. They provide a false sense of security to both the swimmers and the adults. The parents feel that the float is keeping their children safe and do not watch them as closely and in return they make the swimmer believe that they can actually swim when in fact the only reason they are able to get air is because of the float. 
  2. They put the swimmers into a vertical position in the water (or what we in the aquatics world refer to as the drowning position), Once a swimmer is in a vertical position in the water and they loose their air they fall down and can not get back up to the top of the water for air, to yell for help or to get to the wall or stairs. 
  3. Once a child has been wearing a float for the whole day running in and out of the pool they start to forget that it's the float holding them up rather than knowing how to swim. So many times once swim time is over or when it's food time that child will run back into the pool forgetting that they did not have their float on. 

Here are some tips on how to help keep your family safe around the water this summer:

  1. Sign all of your kids up for swim lessons, even your swimmers need refresher lessons before just jumping into the water! 
  2. If your child goes missing, and there is a body of water present ALWAYS, first check the pool. 
  3. With so many adults around do NOT assume that someone is watching the pool or your child around the water, designate an adult, and know that no one will ever watch your child as carefully as you will. 
  4. Know that most drownings happen at family, backyard pool parties during NON swimming time. 
  5. Know CPR! 

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