Many local families will be hitting the beach or pool for Labor Day weekend to close out summer 2016. However, we know that there are more water related accidents on busy holiday weekends. In fact, summer 2016 has seen more drownings than usual — especially in the Great Lakes Region.
Before families head to the beach or pool, families need to be familiar with some basic water and swim safety info to keep their kids safer around water. The swim and safety experts at Goldfish Swim School Ann Arbor have taught lessons to over 10,000 kids in the past 5 years. They are truly experts in this area and we have five water and swim safety tips to share with families.
(1) Any time kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines and anything else that might distract the adult from watching swimming children every single second. Many children who drown are supervised. Even if there is a lifeguard on duty, you are responsible for your child!
(2) Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Life jackets should be designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
(3) Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of water.
(4) The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safer around water is to enroll them in swim lessons. Swimming is an essential life-saving skill with numerous physical, mental and intellectual benefits.
(5) Invest in latches, fences and sensors if you own a pool. However, although barriers are essential, they do NOT replace supervision. Don’t let your guard down because you think there is no way a toddler could get near the pool.
Have fun this Labor Day weekend, and be safe!