Spring Break Water Safety Tips from Goldfish Swim School
April means spring has finally come to Dayton (or it is at least on it’s way)! As families prepare to head out to warm-weather spring-break destinations, water and swim safety are on the minds of many parents. Maybe the kids haven’t been in swim lessons since last summer. Or perhaps you have toddlers who are just starting to acclimate to having fun in the water.
Many vacation destinations include a pool or beach access where kids could potentially come into contact with water. So what do families need to keep in mind when it comes to keeping little ones safe around water while on spring-break trips? And how can they use their getaway as an opportunity to work on water safety skills and prepare for beach and pool season in the Midwest?
The Center for Disease Control notes that drowning occurs because of the following factors:
- lack of swimming ability
- lack of barriers
- lack of close supervision and
- failure to wear a life jacket
The most important thing to keep in mind is that children must be supervised closely at all times in and around water. No exceptions. Be sure to designate an adult supervisor (no texting or other distractions). Take turns in this role if possible.
The American Red Cross recommends that children be enrolled in a weekly swim lesson in order to ensure that they develop the skills necessary to be water-safe. However, spring-break trips to warm-weather locales are a great opportunity for families to sneak in some “mini lessons” and work on building essential water-safety skills in preparation for the summer months ahead.
Parents can prepare by packing a few simple items (such as goggles, dive toys, etc.) and then spend some time in the pool or ocean each day working on basic skills that will help keep kids safe in and around water.
The following three activities are taught daily at Goldfish Swim School because they help develop fundamental water-safety skills:
- Jump! Turn! Swim to the wall! Let your kids jump off the side of the pool to you and then help them physically turn back to the wall and assist them in the proper way to climb out of the pool by using the wording: “elbow, elbow, tummy, knees.” Do this over and over again. As they get more confident let them go under the water and come to the surface on their own.
- Floating on their back. This is a progression of supporting them from underneath, encouraging them to point their “chin, back and belly to the sky” to arch the back. As they progress you can begin to support them less by moving from holding them from underneath the back to just the head — and eventually having them float on their own.
- Practicing windmill arms and rollover. Work on getting those freestyle arms out of the pool! Encourage “big arms” and rolling over from front to back and back to front. The rollover is a great safety skill to know if they need to get on their back to float. It’s also an introduction to the beginning stages of side breath: Get them used to turning their head to the side to breathe instead of popping the head up.
Keep in mind that your time together in the water should be positive and fun! Kids will make progress if you work on these skills regularly and celebrate their successes!
Goldfish Swim School Dayton provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student-teacher ratio), warm 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. In addition to swim lessons, Goldfish Swim School offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) and birthday party packages.