I can’t believe I am even thinking about summer right now! Eekk!! I am more than ready for summer to be here. Well, the kids are really ready for summer 😉 Me on the other hand is happy to have them home, but not thrilled about the Louisiana heat. How do we beat the heat? Water activities of course! Along with all the water play comes the need to think about how to be safe around all types of water activities. Here are a few ways I play it safe around water!
Playing it safe.
Summer is a time to relax, have fun, and just enjoy all things water-related. We don’t have a beach near by, so we depend on personal means of bringing water to us. It is so easy to just think ‘Oh, we are good! I will be watching the entire time!’ The scary part of that is, it may be difficult to watch 24/7 when you have more than one child running around. Plus, you will find yourself wanting to take a break from the madness at some point.
It doesn’t take a lot of water to become a safety concern. Even a mere water hose can be an issue. You can still have your water play and play safe at the same time. It just takes a little planning a head and some ‘coaching’ to those children who are old enough to play in the water.
The ol’ swimming hole.
Swimming pools. They are a hot summer’s best friend. I almost will call them my BFF due to this wild and crazy Louisiana weather and smouldering heat. As fun and cooling as they may be, they are not your life saver. If possible, get your child into some sort of swimming lessons. This will get your child acclimated to the pool scene and most swimming lesson courses teach safety! The last swimming lesson classes my older two kids participated in taught them how to swim to the side of the pool with their clothes on. It felt so good to watch them swim to the side!
Now, this may not be an option for everyone. No worries. You can teach a few skills yourself. Blowing bubbles is one of the earliest skills your child will learn besides floating on their back. Why blowing bubbles? It teaches them how to breathe out in the water rather than breathing in. Floating on their back is also important and can be done at home as well. The purpose of this skill is that if a child were to fall into a pool where they could not touch, they will be able to at least float until someone can rescue them.
Besides these two tips and swimming lessons, it is important for you as a parent to understand that it doesn’t take a lot of water to be a hazard. It can be a pool with only a few inches of water. You heard me right, a few inches! This of course is more towards the smaller children who could fall over and not get up from that small amount of water. Either way, be aware that it doesn’t take much!
Floaties, life jackets, and such.
We sometimes lean on those flotation devices to make us feel less anxious around water. They obviously help keep your child above the water, but they are not magical swimming aids. They will not keep your child’s face above the water nor will they help a scared and flayling child. Children wearing any type of flotation device should still be supervised. I have seen floaties pop off of children’s arms! That is very scary when a child is not comfortable in the water and can not swim. So remember, children with flotation devices should be watched as if they were not wearing any at all.
Other water activities.
Pools are the main thing we think about when we think of summer and water. There are many other water activities that need to be supervised or at least cautious about. Water balloon fights is one of those activities.
Water balloon fights have become even more popular now that there are so many different water balloon kits. Hook one up and fill 20 or more water balloon all at once! Even though these seem harmless since you are not being submerged in water, they are still something to be cautious of. My older kids, even though they know it can be an issue, will sometimes put the water balloons in their mouth. WHHYYYYY?!! I mean, I have told them numerous times not to do that. They still seem to forget this. Filled and non-filled water balloons can be a choking hazard. I know this is probably a ‘well no kidding’ point. Still have to put my two cents out there for those who may not think so 😉
Water balloons can also be painful if thrown too hard. We always make a rule to avoid the face. Another water activity is just playing with the water hose. It may seem harmless. If a child were to turn the hose on at full blast and point it directly to another child’s face, the other child would have difficulty breathing as well as possibly choke on all the water being forced onto their face. I have seen this happen, and it is scary!
Have fun, just play it safe.
Summer time is meant for having fun, especially in water. I believe if we all are aware of the what if’s and have our children understand them, water play can be so much fun and safe at the same time! Remember, never leave a child unattended around water, especially if they are not comfortable with the water. Oh, and don’t forget that sunscreen 😉