Water safety is hands down the most important part of summer. Whether planning a family vacation to the beach or taking a trip to Great Wolf Lodge, you and your kids need to know how to stay safe in the water. Director of Aquatics at the Williamsburg resort, Kyle Kramer, has some tips to share for safe summer fun in the water.
Water Safety Tips
Even if your child is a good swimmer, it is crucial that they know water safety. Water can be a sneaky creature, and will attack when least expected. While some of these may seem like common sense, it is crucially important to know these rules.
1. Never swim alone. Always use the buddy system and be sure the area is well supervised by lifeguards before you or other family members enter the water.
2. Encourage your child to wear a life jacket. Many public pools and water parks provide life jackets for your use free of charge and it’s better to be on the safe side if your child is not a confident swimmer.
3. Never assume someone else is watching your child. Even with lifeguards nearby, you have the responsibility for your child. The best way to keep your child safe is to play right alongside them.
4. Stay hydrated. Swimming and playing takes a lot of energy, especially during the hot summer months. Drink plenty of water or sports drinks and rest in a cool location.
5. Forget the Bling. Before heading to the beach, pool or water park, avoid swimsuits that have ties, grommets or decorations that could get caught on something during water activities.
6. Skip the flip-flops. Look for sandals with a heel strap or a full-coverage slip-on water shoe that will stay in place both in and out of the water.
7. Too much sun is no fun. Be sure to limit your exposure during peak hours of 12pm-3pm and reapply waterproof/sweat proof sunscreen every 80 minutes.
8. Take a CPR course. Knowing these skills can be important in any environment. This is a skill we all can benefit from – on land and around water.
9. Read all of the signs before going on a water-slide, pool or attraction. Make sure your child meets the posted requirements. If you have questions about an attraction, ask an employee at the facility.
10. Plan ahead. As a family, decide on a meeting place to go to if anyone gets separated. Kids can take off in instant and crowded parks and beaches can make it difficult for little ones to find you. Choose an easy-to-spot location that can be easily found by all family members.
11. If you see someone struggling in the water, call for help. Remember “Reach or Throw, Don’t Go!” Even professionally trained lifeguards don’t enter the water without having the proper flotation devices to keep themselves safe.
Before you hit the water parks and beach this summer, make sure your kids know how serious water can be and that they have a good understanding of these safety tips.