Whether in a pool, a lake, or the ocean, many of the same basic rules apply:
- Teach your child never to swim anywhere alone. (That's good advice for adults, too.)
- Always have school-age children supervised by a lifeguard or other adult when they swim. The adult needs to know how to swim and how to perform CPR. Teenagers should be advised to swim with a buddy, never alone.
- Don't let kids push or jump on top of someone else in or near water. Walk, don't run, near pools or docks.
- Your child should never dive into water unless permitted by an adult who knows how deep the water is.
- Going down a pool slide head first is a no-no.
- At the first sign of thunder or lightening, everyone should leave the water.
- Warn your kids not to pretend to be drowning and call for help in jest.
Diving Off the Deep End
Adolescents are especially in danger of spinal cord injuries from diving because they're more likely to take risks. They should:
- Never dive into above-ground pools because they usually aren't deep enough.
- Dive into in-ground pools only from the ends of diving boards, never from the sides of the board or pool.
- Never dive when more than one person is on the diving board because horseplay can lead to injury.
- Wait until the area is clear before diving, and then swim away promptly to avoid being hit by another diver.
- Never dive from piers or docks.
- Go into water feet first to check the depth before considering diving. Water should be at least nine feet deep.
Diving is a skill. Encourage your child to take lessons so she can dive safely without risking injury.
More on: Childhood Safety
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Child Safety © 2000 by Miriam Bacher Settle, Ph.D., and Susan Crites Price. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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