Make Your Summer Splash A Safe One
Make Your Summer Splash A Safe One
A safe summer splash is a great way to help children cool off and have fun. Can't you just hear the giggles as you dip pudgy baby toes into the edge of a creek for the first time? Or gleeful shouts of older children dog paddling or mastering the crawl in a swimming pool? Whether you're wading in a creek, playing in a lake or swimming in your home pool, safety precautions will help keep your children out of danger as temperatures start to soar.
Always, always make sure children are supervised whenever they are in or around water! If kids are in the pool or a little one is playing on the sand at the edge of a creek or lake, put your cell phone down and don't step away for even a moment to use the bathroom or grab something from the car. Same goes for young children in the bathtub! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning rates are highest amongst children ages 1 to 4 and most drownings occur in home swimming pools. Your kids need your eyes on them. They also need you to wrap them quickly in a soft towel and cuddle them until their teeth stop chattering when they come out of the water! Be sure you are a capable swimmer, too!
PRE-SWIMMER FLOTATION DEVICES
If your child is unable to swim or a weak swimmer, be sure to gear him/her up with a flotation device any time you are around or accessing water. Skip the cute water wings that can slip off and get in the way of your child's attempt to swim. And don't fall for the floatie bathing suit, either. Choose a life jacket or children's flotation device that matches your child's current weight, has a secure fit and offers good flotation. Read up on U.S. Coast Guard approved flotation devices on The Scientific Parent and check these guidelines from the Life Jacket Association.
LEARNING TO SWIM
One of the smartest ways you can support your child in splashing safely is to make sure they learn to swim. If you don't swim, it would be ideal for you to learn to swim too. There are a variety of swim lesson opportunities in all communities, from the Red Cross to Parks & Recreation to your local YMCA. Here are some of the swim lessons offered in Shasta County:
- Redding Recreation - Redding Aquatic Center Swim Lessons $30–$55 based on the number of lessons and the season. Choose from Parent & Me (6 months-5 years), Preschool (3-5 years), or School Age (6+).
- Shasta Family YMCA Year round swim lessons! $40 for community members, $30 for those with a YMCA membership. Both group and private classes available, depending on age and experience level.
- Sun Oaks Swim School Year round swim lessons! Choose from a variety of levels starting at 6 months to 7 years old.
- Swim Foundations
- Anderson Parks & Recreation
Getting access to lakes on a boat can be a great way to push through the infamous summer heat that feels like it's roasting you like a 4th of July hotdog. Boating safely with kids is do-able and fun. Even when everyone in your party can swim, the first safety precaution for boating is that ALL boaters always wear a life jacket! Following are more boating safety tips to make sure families with boats or renting boats have a cool adventure.
- Always have your child wear a properly fitted life jacket.
- Set rules and boundaries when on or around a boat.
- Remind children to keep their hands and feet inside the boat at all times.
- Instruct children not to touch any keys or buttons on the boat's console.
- When swimming, don't swim near the boat.
- Don't swim while the motor is running.
Spending time outdoors and away from television and game screens is important to your child's development and getting in the water is a fun choice for summer. When you're heading outside, remember to protect your child's skin with sunscreen (SPF-30 or higher). Tender skin can get a painful burn very quickly, even on a cloudy day! Be sure to bring plenty of water and offer it to your child frequently to stay hydrated. Water helps regulate body temperature and when the air is warmer than body temperature, heat is released by sweating…and the body needs more water! Never drink water from pools, lakes or creeks that may contain unseen contaminants. Make summer safety precautions your routine and splash safely this summer with your kids.