United States Swim School Association provides tips for water safety during holiday vacations
In a newly published survey published by Time Inc. and YouGov, 42 percent of people answered they planned to travel this holiday season and 27 percent said they planned to stay in a hotel. For families traveling over the holidays, delayed flights, bad weather and heavy traffic are not the only concerns that need to be front of mind. For most children, the last time they were swimming was several months ago and skills can get rusty. Trips to relatives' homes in warm climates and hotels with pools can create a situation where children could be at a higher risk for getting into a situation where drowning is possible.
Holiday Vacation Water Safety Tips
- Create a verbal cue that must be given by an adult before any kids can enter the pool.
- Gather the adults of your extended family if cousins and relatives are swimming together and create an agreed upon set of pool rules before the kids are allowed into the water.
- Select a parent to be the designated “water watcher.” This adult should not be drinking alcohol while children are in or near water.
- Take time to familiarize your children with the pool they will be swimming in (i.e., where the shallow and deep ends are, where stairs to get in and out are located, where they can and cannot swim).
- If visiting a hotel with an indoor waterpark, do not rely on lifeguards to constantly monitor your children. You cannot be sure how experienced a lifeguard is and should never assume. It might take a new guard time to notice an unsafe situation in a crowded pool and you need to be ready to react first if your child needs help.
- Do not use water wings or pool floats as a substitution for supervision if your child is not a strong swimmer.
- Cold weather destinations are not a guarantee of safety. Children still need to be watched around water that appears frozen and should not be allowed to walk on frozen ponds, lakes, creeks, or other bodies of water because it could easily crack and trap a child under the ice.
- Always go with children to the hotel pool. Do not let them swim unsupervised. Just because you are on vacation does not mean you are on vacation from being a responsible parent.
For more information on USSSA, details on becoming a member of the nation’s leading swim school organization, or to find a USSSA affiliated swim school near you, visit: http://www.usswimschools.org.
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