May is National Water Safety Month: Tips to keep safe in and around the pool

Is your family ready for a safe summer 2022?
Watery Safety Tips
Watery Safety Tips(Goldfish Swim School)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 8:44 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - May is National Water Safety Awareness Month, and the Atlanta Metropolitan area has already seen some record-setting heat. So, no doubt the pool is the perfect place to beat the heat.

CBS46 spent the morning with an instructor from Goldfish Swim School to provide viewers with water safety tips and drowning prevention tips heading into the summer season.

1. Enroll in Swim Lessons + Practice Basic Moves Before Returning to the Pool: One of the best ways to protect your children against drowning is to improve comfort level in the water and strengthen swimming capabilities through swim lessons, which have been proven to reduce the risk of childhood drowning by 88%. Lessons help increase muscle memory by practicing basic techniques for kids to use during a water emergency - such as the crab walk, properly getting in and out of the pool, going underwater, rolling on their back, treading water, and learning different strokes, etc.

2. Swap Out Floaties & Puddle Jumpers for U.S. Coastguard-Approved Lifejackets: Don’t rely on floaties and puddle jumpers to keep your kids afloat. They give children a false sense of security in the water, they can easily come loose or deflate, and they teach children to float in a vertical position which is the opposite of how our bodies float. Search for the Coast Guard approval on floatation devices, because it means the lifejacket has met all the regulations that the Coast Guard has set in place as it relates to performance, construction, and materials. Pay attention to proper fit too. The fit matters, because if your head or ears can slip down beneath the life jacket, the device won’t be able to work as designed to keep your head above water and allow for proper breathing.

3. Seek out Bright Colored Swimwear & Properly Fitted Goggles: When shopping for swimwear, avoid colors that could blend in with the water and choose swimsuits with bright colors instead. They will stand out in the water and make it easier to spot a swimmer in need of help. When shopping for goggles, there are a couple of factors to look for: making sure they fit around the eye comfortably (the top of the goggle cup should fit under the eyebrow and comfortably seal on the bottom under the eye socket), that the nose piece is not too tight or too wide, straps easily adjust.

4. Play it Cool and Follow the Rules: Sometimes when our little ones are in play mode, rules fall by the wayside. Review rules together as a family before letting your kids loose to enjoy the water. Pay special attention to pool hours, and always schedule your swims when lifeguards are present, if possible.

Pro tip: Make sure your kids know what to do in a water emergency. Their first instinct may be to go toward the person having trouble in the water. Instead, they should throw or reach a life preserver of sorts – and don’t go! That way, they aren’t putting themselves in jeopardy as well and are truly able to help.

5. Designate a Water Guardian: Make sure to keep your eyes on your kids at all times – even if lifeguards are present. Kids are as curious as they come and are always willing to push the limits without knowing the true hazards. Designate an adult “Water Guardian” and be sure to change guardians every 30 minutes so he/she is alert and refreshed. A Water Guardian’s sole responsibility needs to be keeping an eye on the swimmers. Vigilance is key – no chatting, no checking your phone, no distractions.