Though it may not o-FISH-ally be summer according to the calendar, we sure are getting closer and closer to days spent outside and by the water! We can already smell the sunscreen and taste the poolside picnic! We’re so excited for all that the warmer weather brings, and can’t wait to be splish-splashing our way through the summer – safely, of course! As we pull our swimsuits out of storage and dust off our sunglasses, it’s time to freshen up on the 5 water safety must-knows!

Being by the water is SO exciting, especially for those of us that live in cooler climates and have been waiting for warmer days for so long! It’s important to keep our excitement at bay until we can remind our kiddos (and ourselves!) of the rules before arriving at our water-centric destinations. Some FINomenal rules for every aquatic adventure include always using our walking feet, listening to the lifeguard, and making sure our life jacket is properly secure before we jump in. Looking for a little more guidance for your water safety conversations? Our good friend Dr. Becky Kennedy from Good Inside encourages you to lead with the fact that your #1 job is to keep your kiddo safe – – validating their feelings, while holding boundaries.

Having a Safer Swimmer Guard by the water is crucial to enjoying summer swimming! Adults having their undivided attention on kiddos gives an extra layer of protection against accidents in the water. This means putting away cell phones, pausing the conversation with others, and focusing on the little fish – – even when there are lifeguards! Remember, adults don’t have to stay on the sidelines to be effective at keeping an eye on their littles. Hoping in the water creates an extra level of safety and it frankly is just a whole lot more fun!

Coast Guard-approved life jackets are a must! For our little ones that haven’t quite mastered their skills yet, a life jacket ensures they’re as safe as can be as they soak up the sun on the boat or at the lake! Even for our kiddos that have mastered their freestyle (and beyond!), wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket adds an extra layer of protection – especially when boating or visiting natural bodies of water. 

Golden Tip: Don’t rely on puddle jumpers or floaties! These can create a false sense of security, and are not designed to be life-saving devices!

Jumping in feet first is as crucial as can be! As kiddos splash around in the water and get brave enough to jump in, teaching them to jump feet first helps prevent any head injuries that can occur from diving into shallow waters. The actions our kiddos take builds muscle memory – no matter how big or how small. If our little fish are used to diving into a pool that is 12 feet deep, they may not remember to make that change when they enter a pool – or jump off a dock – that is only 3 feet deep.

It’s important to teach our kiddos not to go after another swimmer in need, but to instead throw them a floatation device and hurry to find an adult to help. As humans, we naturally want to help someone in distress – and our little humans are no different! Unfortunately, in the water, jumping in to help another person can become even more dangerous for a variety of reasons. Teaching our kiddos to throw something instead of going in to help, followed by finding an adult (or lifeguard!) that can help, is the best thing we can do to keep our little one safe and help out those in need.

As you review these 5 water safety reminders with your kids, it’s a great time to ask yourself if your kids are water-ready! Make it a little extra fun and host a game night to test their water safety knowledge! If they could use some extra practice to sharpen their swim and water safety skills, we know just the place! With Summer Jump Start Clinics just around the corner, they’re the perfect way to get kids water-ready in a hurry (we’re talking less than a week!). Check out our website to find a participating location near you AND to take the Safer Swimmer Pledge, entering you to win exclusive prizes from Goldfish Swim School, LEGO® and LEGOLAND® New York Resort!