Water safety is crucial whenever you take your kids to the pool, or lake, or water park.
The big problem with it is that it’s hard to teach children water safety. Scare tactics and other unproductive methods of teaching to kids do more harm than good, however, so there has to be another way. What do you do, then, to make sure your family enjoys itself on the waterside trip and doesn’t get itself into unnecessary risk?
There is no one solution, but a set of solutions to this, which achieves great results if you are doing it right.
So how do you prepare your kids for water safety?
There are several things you can do.
Don’t wait till they learn it on their own, take them to a swimming lesson. This is not hard, and the basics can be learned within some 10 lessons and practiced to perfection in the pool without an instructor.
Do your Homework
Make sure you learn as much as possible about water safety and water emergency yourself. Take a red cross CPR course focusing on water safety to make sure you are really on top of things. When you instruct the child, the information should be conveyed in an age-appropriate manner, reinforcing key messages regularly to make sure the information is internalized.
Back the information with sound reasoning. After all, everyone is more motivated to follow a rule if they understand the rationale behind it.
Avoid Scare Tactics
As we mentioned above, getting kids to be scared of water is not conducive to increased safety. Quite the contrary. There’s a fine line between awareness and anxiety, with the latter leading to being less aware, increasing the danger. The right way is to teach the child to reach aware, confident and intelligent decisions.
Lead by Personal Example
Children are naturally observant, and tend to put more stock on what they see rather than what they hear. If you want your child to wear a life vest on a boat, be absolutely sure to wear one yourself at all times.
Back Preparation by Supervision
No matter how responsible and mature your child is, adult supervision is be necessary whenever children play in water. Be close to the child and fully tuned to his activity when he’s in the water.
And of course, if you take the time to take a Red Cross CPR course to supplement your knowledge in water safety, it will increase the safety of your family considerably.