“Chicago Tribune” Article on Water Safety on Vacations

I found this article in the March 6, 2014 “Chicago Tribune” online.  As we move into Spring Break season, take a peek for some advice on keeping the kids safe around water.

The article highlights some points that we make to our parents and our children in swim lessons:

1)  The article makes the point that resorts and cruise lines don’t always have lifeguards.  But even if there is a lifeguard, the parents are the first responders.  Have a parent designated to keep an eye on the kids at all times.  For little kids stay in arms reach or in contact at all times.

2)  Work on having children ask permission before going into the water.  For older children, this can be done in words.  For infants and toddlers, work on “cueing” — for example, say “1-2-3, jump” and stop your child and start over if they go before 3.

3)  Don’t swim alone.  Always swim with a buddy

4)  Floaties, water wings, kick boards and noodles are not a life-saving devices.  If your child is in water deeper than their head and they are not fully comfortable in the water, make sure they wear a US Coast Guard approved life-jacket

5)  Get you kids into lessons early.  Even learning to hold the breath under water can buy you time to make a reaching assist.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children 1 year or older can benefit; we think that 6 months is a great place to start.

6)  Learn infant and child CPR.  The faster care is provided and advanced medical personnel are notified, the better the chance that your child can survive a breathing or cardiac emergency.

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