Watch Miss. Heather talk about summer safety tips here on The Rhode Show!
When the warm weather starts to roll in to summer, chances are you will go swimming at the beach, a community center or a backyard pool. If you are a parent or guardian, being at the water with your children can be a fun, but stressful time. There are definitely some things you need to think about before you venture to the pool, the beach or the park.
Supervision is the #1 priority when water is involved!
- Children need to be supervised at all times when they are around water of any kind. A good rule of thumb is to remember that children under 5 should be only an arm’s length away from an adult. If you need to leave for whatever reason, make sure your child is with you – do not leave them even for a minute – because less then a minute is all it takes for a dangerous situation to occur.
- A flotation device does not replace proper supervision. Just because your child has a life vest on, or tube, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have to supervise them. Nothing replaces the proper supervision of an adult.
Educate your children about water safety.
- Different bodies of water move in different ways. A lake, a pool, or ocean all will be different in the water and your children should know the difference. Be aware of rip tides, moving water levels and under tow.
- Teach your child to swim and to tread water. Practice different techniques and strokes.
- Make sure that your child swims with a buddy at all times, never allow a child to swim alone.
- Set rules and boundaries for your children and be prepared to have a consequence ready if they push your limits. Stick to the rules from the start and be consistent.
Educate yourself about water safety.
- All caregivers and families should take a basic CPR class so they will be prepared in an emergency situation. This is a very simple way for all caregivers to protect their families and know what to do when an emergency situation arises.
- Always have a portable phone close by incase you need to call 911. Have an emergency plan and a First Aid Kit. If a child goes missing, always check the water first.
- If you own a pool, please abide by all rules and laws about owning one, including fencing, securing, and covering. Please make sure the cover is secure whenever it is not in use. Also, make sure toys are not floating in the pool when there is no one around – colorful toys are often hard to resist for small children and they might unknowingly try to grab them and fall.
In addition to safety while swimming, make sure you are prepared for a day outdoors. Always bring sunscreen with you. Applying once in the morning may not be enough, especially if your children are swimming for long periods of time. The best way to protect children from the sun is with hats, sunglasses and lightweight long sleeve shirts. Be aware of ticks and mosquitoes in the area, which can carry dangerous diseases. Use effective bug spray and check for ticks after you go home.
On hot, humid days, dehydration can be a threat, especially to small children. Always have plenty of water on hand. Choose healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables, which have a higher water contact and will hydrate the body more than salty snacks and sugary drinks. Take breaks in the shade and try to stay cool.
Heather is the Director of The Children’s Workshop in Lincoln, RI. She first started her journey with the TCW family in 2007 in our Smithfield location as a Kindergarten teacher. She then entered the company’s Management in Training Program, working in several of our locations while also training staff in various areas of early childhood education. She holds a BA from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Master’s Degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education. Her true passion is not only working with children, but sharing knowledge with families and teachers in order to provide the best early learning experience for all young learners. She is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Rhode Island Childcare Director’s Association, as well as the Rhode Island College Early Childhood Advisory Board.