Toddlers should learn early about water safety, whether they take swimming classes or not. According to the CDC, children between 1-4 years of age have the highest drowning rates. Drowning is very preventable and toddlers are capable of learning the basics of water safety, including skills they can use to save themselves should they accidentally fall into a pool. Here are some tips for teaching toddlers water safety:

Asking permission. Toddlers must understand that they are not to go into a pool or play in water without asking Mommy and Daddy first. Discuss this with them, explain the dangers involved, and emphasize the importance of asking permission to go into the water. Even very young children can be effectively taught this lesson.

Roll-back-to-float. This is the most important skill toddlers can use to be safer in the water: if a child falls into a pool accidentally, having the ability to roll over and float to breathe and call out could be the difference between life and death. Roll-back-to-float is the foundation for children to learn to swim in toddler swimming classes.

Early swim classes. Where can toddlers learn to roll-back-to-float? In infant and toddler swim classes. Survival Swim classes can be used as an introduction to swimming and to make your child more comfortable in the water. Lessons include a full spectrum of activities and skills that emphasize safety and confidence in the water.

Make it fun. Use pool safety games for kids as a teaching tool. Repetitive games that allow practice of water survival skills – Simon Says and Red Light, Green Light are good examples – enjoyably pass along important water safety lessons.

Regardless of any tips for teaching toddlers water safety, parents and caregivers must always remember one thing: always actively supervise children around water, including the bathtub. They should have your undivided attention. The more you get involved with your child’s efforts to learn water safety, the quicker and more successful the teaching will be.