5 Tips to Keep Kids Safe Around Open Water

With the 4th of July just around the corner, many families will be making trips to the New Jersey Shore to spend the long weekend with family and friends. Water safety is always an important consideration for families, but parents need to keep in mind that swimming in a pool is much different from swimming in an ocean and different safety concerns apply.

Here are five important beach safety and open water swimming safety tips that every family should keep in mind:

  1. Never swim alone and always use the buddy system at the beach. While swimming in a pool by yourself is also very dangerous, open water is exponentially more dangerous due to tides and currents and being unable to see the bottom and how deep the water is. If no one knows you are swimming, there is no one to help you if you get into trouble!
  2. Do not swim at the beach unless there is a lifeguard on duty. The lifeguards know their beach the best, where currents are and where the water is deeper. Swimming in open water without a lifeguard on duty is not worth taking the risk!  We always make sure the kids know who the lifeguards are at the Goldfish Swim School pool so they can easily recognize them at the beach, too.
  3. Wear a life jacket when you go near the water at the beach. If you are not a strong swimmer, even a few feet of water at the shoreline can be dangerous and tides can be strong, so the safest thing to do is take precaution and wear a life jacket.
  4. Know how to float on your back in the water. Every person has the ability to float comfortably on their back in fresh, salt and chlorinated water. Knowing how to float and how to get yourself to a back float can save your life. If you are in trouble in the water and you can get to your back you can breathe and rest until help arrives.   This is one of the first skills kids learn at Goldfish, whether they are infants in a parent-tot class or a 6-year-old just getting started in swim class. 
  5. Act or throw – don’t go! If you see someone else in trouble in open water the best thing to do is get a lifeguard or try to throw a floating rescue aid to them. If you try to go into the open water to help someone you are more likely to also end up in trouble instead of helping due to currents or varying depths.

Keep in mind that the number one thing you can do to keep your family safe around water is to make sure that everyone learns basic water safety and swim skills and strokes from a qualified instructor. And know that constant supervision of all children is a must.

Wishing all of our Philadelphia-area friends a safe and fun 4th of July!

Meg Kevane is a mother of three and the owner of Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington Fort Washington (185 Commerce Dr.). Goldfish Swim School provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student-teacher ratio), warm 90-degree pools and a state-of-the-art water purification system. In addition to swim lessons, Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) and birthday party packages. For more information or to enroll in lessons, visit the website or call 215-220-3828.

Meg Kevane is a mother of three and the owner of Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington. Conveniently located at 185 Commerce Drive in Fort Washington, Goldfish Swim School provides swim instruction to children ages 4 months to 12 years-old in a unique setting with highly trained instructors, small class sizes (max 4:1 student to teacher ratio), warm 90-degree pools, and a state-of-the-art water purification system. In addition to swim lessons, Goldfish Swim School Fort Washington also offers weekly family swims (for both members and non-members) and birthday party packages. For more information or to enroll your child in lessons, visit the website or call 215/220-3828.

Categories: MK Memo