Stay safe near water

Thu 2 Jul 2020

During the warm weather and while children are at home, please take care near water. Last month we were proud to be part of the RLSS Drowning Prevention Week, but we have to look out for safety near water every day.

Our Learn to Swim Instructors have some video’s to share with you on keeping safe and some swim techniques to practice with your children while you are at home.


How to practice a safe star float at home

 Safe rescue techniques with Steve 

10 Water Safety Tips for Families
Water safety encompasses a person's behaviour in and around the water. Before taking your kids to the pool, beach or lakeshore, teach them these 10 basic water safety tips to ensure a safe and pleasant water experience.

1. Never Swim Alone

  • Swimming should only happen when a lifeguard is on duty, they are trained to keep everyone safe while they enjoy water
  • For children and adults use the buddy system while swimming. Its more fun to swim with a friend and this also ensures there is someone who can go for help if something goes wrong

2. Supervise Children When They’re in the Water

  • When your children are in the water, be alert. Be within arm's reach of a young child at all times
  • This rule is true whether they're swimming in a pool, lake, ocean or bathtub
  • Even ones who are strong swimmers need supervision

3. Don’t Play Breath-Holding Games

  • While swimming, children shouldn’t hold their breath for a long time, as this can cause drowning and has several other severe risks. 
  • If a swimmer holds their breath too long or hyperventilates before going underwater — meaning they are breathing deeper or faster — they are at a higher risk of passing out underwater. 

4. Always Wear a Life Vest

  • Young children or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a Coast Guard-certified life jacket around water. 

5. Don’t Jump in the Water to Save a Friend

  • If a child sees their friend struggling to keep their head above water, their first instinct may be to jump in to help. However, doing so could lead to both people drowning.
  • Reach, throw but don’t go in.
  • Use long object to pull a struggling swimmer to safety. B

6. Enter the Water Feet First

  • Severe injuries can occur when kids jump or dive headfirst into shallow water.
  • Make sure your child understands the proper way to enter and exit the pool.
  • Teach them the correct way to do it, as well as point out the areas where it is safe to do so.

7. Stay Away From Pool Drains

  • Children's hair, bathing suits and even limbs have become stuck in broken or faulty drains, which can lead to drowning or serious injury.
  • Stay away from any broken pool drain and report it immediately.

8. Stay Within Designated Swim Areas

  • Whether you're swimming in a pool, ocean or lake, staying within the designated swim areas is vital to staying safe.
  • Never encourage a child to swim in water deeper than their abilities will allow, and, especially if you're swimming in a lake or ocean, always follow guidelines local lifeguards have established.
  • Know about how lakes and oceans and how the water can change throughout the day.

9. Avoid Using Alcohol

  • This advice applies mainly to older children and parents. Alcohol impairs judgement, coordination and balance. It affects a person's ability to swim well, and it can even lower body temperature. 
  • Parents should also use caution and never consume alcohol while you're supervising children in the water. 

10. Learn CPR

  • Knowing how to perform CPR can be the difference between life and death. Get your CPR certification — and keep it up to date — through the American Red Cross, your local hospital or other community organisations.

Do you need some support with swimming techniques or learning to swim? Derby Active Learn to Swim are here to help. For information on our adult and child swimming lessons visit our Learn to Swim web page.