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Summertime has begun and it’s prime time for ample amounts of sunblock and swimming, no matter if it’s in a swimming pool or at the beach. However, did you know that there are important differences between beach swimming and pool swimming that could make a huge difference in your child’s safety this pool season? As you prepare you child for fun in the sun, review these important differences so you can make the best decisions for your family and keep them safe this summer.
Beach swimming involves open water and strong tides. Before you get your feet wet, it’s important to note that it’s best for beginner or novice swimmers to stay in the surf. Only swim in lifeguard-protected areas designated as swimming areas. Obey all rules and instructions from lifeguards.
Since open water can change from calming to ferocious in a matter of minutes thanks to weather, it’s important to stay alert and keep up with the latest weather conditions in the area. Pay attention to warning flags and ask a lifeguard about current water conditions and potential hazards.
Strong Tides and Rip Currents
Even if you and your child are confident in the water, it’s important to make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore over tides. Rip currents are very dangerous and responsible for many deaths every year and can appear in any open water area, in low spots and breaks in the sand, or near piers. It’s always good practice to avoid permanent rip currents by staying at lest 100 feet away from jetties and piers. Always swim or float parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.
Pool Drains, Openings, and Suctions
Pools have drains, suctions, and entrapments that could be potential hazards for small children. To avoid these hazards, use caution around these parts of the pool and be mindful of body limbs, hair, jewelry that could get entangled. Additionally, consider keeping hot tub and spa jets off when children are in the spa. These are suction devices that can pull them under.
Appropriate Safety Equipment
While the pool isn’t in use, setting up a pool safety fence surrounding the area can prevent children from falling into the pool. Avoid leaving small water toys, balls, or electrical appliances in and around the pool which could distract or be hazardous to small children. When a pool is being used, it’s always important to have an adult supervisor who is able to closely watch swimmers at all times.
Many swimming pools will have various pool depths, especially if the pool has a diving board. Remind your children that there shouldn’t be any running or horseplay around the pool area and to only dive in the deep areas of the pool while under an adult’s supervision.
Enroll in Age Appropriate Swim Lessons
The best water safety tip we recommend for both pool and beach swimming is learning how to swim. By enrolling your child in age appropriate swim lessons, you’re providing them will water safety and swimming skills that last a life time and could save his or her life. Boat trips, snorkeling, water sports, and pool parties are all experiences that require the ability to swim to be fun and safe. Click here to learn more about our swimming programs.