Does your family enjoy spending time at the river, pond, or lake? Are you planning a trip to the beach? Swimming in open water is much different than swimming in a pool. In fact, Safe Kids Worldwide recently released a research report called “Hidden Hazards: An Exploration of Open Water Drowning and Risks for Kids” that includes detailed information about the dangers of open water swimming and ways to stay safe while enjoying the beach.
A ten-year-old is three times more likely to drown in open water rather than in a pool. Educating the kids in your life about smart water safety is the best way to help them stay safe. Children should always be supervised when in or near water.
If your kids are preparing for their first trip that involves swimming in the ocean, lake, or other open water, make sure they’ve taken swimming lessons. Safe Kids Worldwide recommends that they should be able to:
- Step or jump into water that is over their head and return to the surface
- Float or tread water
- Turn around and find their way to safety
- Combine breathing with forward movement in the water and
- Exit the water.
Talk to your kids about the variables that are unique to open water, like currents, undertow, uneven surfaces, unknown depth, and limited visibility. You could even use this as an opportunity to talk about the geology and science associated with open water. Discuss why it’s important to stay in designated swimming/recreation areas, which have been checked by professionals, rather than diving into unknown waters.
Discussing the differences between swimming in open water and swimming in a pool proactively can help your child be prepared for the new environment. This type of education can also help prevent panic if something unexpected happens in the water, which can reduce the risk of the situation becoming dire.
If you or a loved one has been injured while swimming, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.