• Waterside Safety

    Summer Water Safety

    Summer is here, which means more trips to the beach, pool, and lake. Before you plan a family swimming trip, be sure to brush up on waterside safety.

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    Sunscreen Protection

    No one likes to get sunburned, so applying sunscreen is a must. Most experts suggest sunscreen with an SPF of 20-30 for kids. Try to select a sunscreen that’s waterproof and provides full spectrum protection (this means it blocks both UVA and UVB rays). For kids with sensitive skin, find something hypoallergenic and free of fragrances. The best protection from the sun is time in the shade. If your little guy or girl looks like they’re starting to turn a bit pink, have them relax in the shade for 30-45 minutes and reapply sunblock. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every 4 hours.

    Swimming Skills

    When it comes to water safety, one must first factor in such concerns as how strong a swimmer a child is and what kind of water they’ll be swimming in. While your child may be good enough to swim alone in the backyard pool, they won’t be able to in choppy seas. In general, the buddy system is useful for staying safe in the water, but that shouldn’t stop you from keeping a pretty constant eye on your little swimmers. Those new to swimming should wear life jackets.

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    Warning Signs

    It’s important to work out some kind of system with your kids about what they should do if they feel they’re in trouble. Many parents don’t know what drowning looks like, so agree on a clear and easy-to-remember distress sign – a wave or a whistle, anything to let you know they need help. Make sure your kids know they should call for help the moment they feel danger. They should never wait until they are already exhausted from trying to get to shore. If someone is missing, the first things you should do are call 911 and check the water. Being lost on the beach or by the lake is much less serious than being in trouble in the water, so always start there.

    Hit the Beach

    Once you have established some safety protocols and applied some sunscreen, you’ll be ready for some waterside fun. Make sure to snap lots of pictures, and bring plenty of snacks, water, and your favorite aquatic toys. Enjoy the water this summer!

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