May is National Water Safety Month. As a mom, this is a topic that’s incredibly important. It’s a big reason why Liam is regularly taking swimming lessons at Goldfish Swim School. His preschool had someone from the Ohio DNR out the other week to talk to the kids about being safe around water. Liam and his classmates learned some great takeaways and I’d like to share their water safety tips for kids here.
- Always swim with a buddy. Summer camp, anyone? The camp I attended every summer had a buddy board. Each person in your duo got a numbered chip they had to safety pin to their swimsuit. When the whistle blew, you had to stop what you were doing and find your buddy. Then you had to hold hands and hold them up in the air to show the lifeguards that you had indeed found your buddy. And then once you were done swimming, both chips got returned to the board. This way, the camp staff knew that no one was in the water without the buddy. Whether it’s an empty pool or a crowded lake, swimming with at least one other person ensures that someone knows where you are and can get help if you need it.
- Don’t just pack it, wear your jacket. Your life jacket, that is. I get it. It’s not cool. It’s big and bulky and not the cutest fashion statement. Life jackets kind of remind me of bike helmets….a total pain to wear as a kid. But they serve an extremely important purpose and you shouldn’t go without.
- Reach or throw, but don’t go. If you see someone in need of help in the water, you can try to reach for them or throw them a flotation device, but don’t jump in the water yourself.
There are movements to go with each of these tips. It really helps Liam remember each one. He’s been saying them all week. I think what’s most important, especially as summer nears, is that we continue to have a discussion about water safety with our kids. Because you can’t be too careful. Even if you’re an adult. Or if you already know how to swim. And even if you’re with a group of people and you think there are plenty of eyes on your child. We can teach them to be both confident around water and safe. And to share that knowledge with their friends who may not know.
Liam’s water safety day at preschool was timed perfectly with a big event that happened over the weekend at Goldfish. They had water safety clinics and covered boat safety in the pool. We didn’t actually get in the water ourselves, but was fun to see families learning all sorts of water safety tips for kids. Outside, Liam checked out a fire truck, met a K9 police dog and got an ice cream cone painted on his hand. We even had a little frozen treat thanks to Graeter’s! Such a fun afternoon. This is an annual event, so make sure you plan to attend next year!
Do you have any water safety tips for kids to share? How do you practice water and boating safety with your little ones? Summer is right around the corner, so feel free to share your tips below!
This post about kids swimming lessons in Columbus is part of our partnership with Goldfish Swim School. As always, all the photos, words and opinions in this blog are completely my own.