It’s that time of year again! School is out, local beaches and pools are open. What does your child know about water safety?
Education doesn’t stop just because it is summer time! Please be safe as you enjoy the beautiful weather and our great country. Never mix alcohol with water or water sports. Judgement may become impaired and that is when accidents are more likely to happen. Never swim alone or allow children to swim without adult supervision. That means really watching the kids in the water, not just being nearby. If you are not watching, you may not see the early signs of a struggling swimmer. Look for a person who may be bobbing up and down, unable to call out for help because they are concentrating on trying to get a bit of air when they can. Drowning people almost never call out for help because it happens silently, so do not stand nearby and expect to hear someone yell for help. Be alert and aware when kids are near water!
Even the youngest of children can be taught water safety, RI cities and towns offer many programs to support this cause. Pods Swimming in RI offers classes starting at two months of age right through competitive swimming teams for youth and adults!Of course, the YMCA of Greater Providence, as well as its many locations, offers classes in water safety and swimming all over the state. In Glocester, RI, residents can send their children to one of two local beaches for six weeks of Red Cross certified lessons! I have been taking my children for over a dozen summers!
What about if you have a private pool? Be sure to teach your child age-appropriate water safety and skills.Never, ever take your eyes off of a very young child near the water. Teach young children to stand up, if they can, in water. Teach them to float on their back; very, very young children can learn this fairly easily. It is important to keep your mouth closed so you don’t suck in and swallow water, too. If you yourself are not comfortable around water, get some lessons yourself so that you could help in case of an emergency.
If you have more questions about water safety in RI, contact your local city or town or the YMCA for assistance in learning to swim. Be safe and enjoy the beaches of RI this summer!