Discovery Point Blog

May 6, 2020

May is National Water Safety Month: Tips for Keeping Kids Safe

Did you know that May is National Water Safety Month? As the weather warms up and water-related activities become more appealing, it’s important to ensure your family is well-equipped with water safety skills and knowledge. 

Read below to learn more about the tips and resources you can use to prepare for a fun and safe summer season.

Start with Water Competency

Now’s the time to encourage water competency for every member of your family. Teaching children water safety and swimming skills early is crucial. However, it should be noted that youngsters aren’t the only ones who need to know how to swim. Less than half of Americans can complete all five of the basic skills that could save their life in the water. This makes it essential that the adults in your family are fully water competent.

If you’re looking for a reliable water safety training provider, the American Red Cross has a Learn-to-Swim program that’s available at local facilities across the country.

Learn What to Do in an Emergency

Educating yourself on what to do in the case of an emergency will help give you peace of mind so you can enjoy summertime fun with your kids rather than being a bundle of nerves. Start by learning CPR procedures, if you aren’t already familiar with them. In addition, be ready to recognize the signs of someone in trouble so you can shout for help. And if a child is ever missing near water, be sure to check the water first. 

If you leave your children with a babysitter and you have a pool at home, emphasize that constant supervision is a requirement. In addition, it is imperative to brief the babysitter on water safety protocol and ensure that they are CPR certified.

Talk to Your Kids About Water Safety

Educating your children about the importance of water safety can help them stay aware of risks and give them the tools they need to have fun in a responsible manner. One way to help get your children involved is by having them take the Safe Swimmer’s Pledge. The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance offers a downloadable “I’m a Safe Swimmer Certificate” that kids can sign and hang on the wall or fridge after taking the pledge.

Make Your Pool a Safer Place

If you have a backyard pool or hot tub, there are a number of steps that you can take to make it safer for children. These include the following:

  • Install a fence around the pool (at a height of four feet or more) as well as self-closing gates
  • Use pool and gate alarms so you’ll always know when children go near the water
  • Ensure your drain covers are compliant (reach out to your local pool service if you’re uncertain)
  • Keep pool and hot tub covers in good condition
  • Use lockable covers when possible
  • Post easy-to-follow CPR instructions in the vicinity of the pool
  • Avoid leaving toys out in the pool area
  • Keep furniture away from gates to prevent climbing
  • Maintain a family-wide policy that children must be supervised at all times when in the pool area

When you are visiting the pool at your local park district or in your neighborhood, it’s important to keep safety measures in mind. When swimming at a public pool, there should always be a lifeguard on duty. Public pools should also have lifesaving equipment that is visible including a rescue ring or pole.

Also, be on the lookout for signs of possible low water quality. If you can’t see the drain through the water in the deep end of the pool, the water most likely isn’t being maintained to standards. Take regular bathroom breaks and only change swim diapers in the bathroom. Of course, every bathroom break should be followed by washing hands with soap and water. Finally, if you or your children are sick, avoid spending time at the pool. 

Make sure the upcoming summer season is one full of fun memories by joining the nation in celebrating National Water Safety Month this May.

Keep an eye out for additional educational programs, public service announcements, and business promotions in your community for more ideas on how you can make the most of this valuable time before the summer season begins.