As summer approaches, water safety experts share water safety tips for families.
Racheal Smith is the director of instructor at Worthington Pools. She talks about the importance of having several sets of eyes on swimmers while in the water.
"It could take as little as 10 seconds for a child to slip underwater," said Smith.
"And, if one person has to watch 200 people, you're not going to catch every single head in that 10 second time frame."
Smith facilitates lifeguard training for Worthington Pools.
"We do the American Red Cross training," said Smith. "Before they can even take the class, the very first thing they do is a prerequisite course.
So it's a three hundred yard swim nonstop. There's no stopping.
Then they have to do a 2 min tread without their hands and then they have to do a brick test swim down, retrieve a 10-pound brick and swim with it on their chest."
Lisa Armitage s the owner of Goldfish Swim School in Dublin. She is also a water safety expert.
Armitage says it is vitally important for parents to play a role in their child's swim habits.
She offers the following tips to keep in mind:
1. Assign a designated watcher: Never leave a child unattended in or around water. "maybe you rotate every 20-30 mins even if there's lifeguards. I tell my family, you should always be your child's first lifeguard," said Armitage.
2. Know how to swim: Making sure your kids know how to swim is the best way to stay safe in the water. Even for kids who “know” how to swim, lessons are still beneficial.
3. Always swim with a buddy: No matter your age or skill level, always swim with at least one other person. "definitely have a plan in place. So talking to your children ahead of time, letting them know where you are going to be where the meeting point is going to be and really setting the expectation up front.
4. Safety Equipment: Ensure that there are life preservers and U.S Coast Guard-approved life vests available for all swimmers, and have a first aid kit onsite as well. Keep a phone nearby. You probably always have your phone nearby to be able to take pictures of your kids doing cute stuff while swimming — but you need to be ready to call 911 if needed, too. Learn CPR and rescue breathing. Every second counts in an emergency, and you’ll be able to help until medical professionals arrive.
5. Respect the Water and No Rough-Housing: Even skilled swimmers can get hurt in the water. It’s dangerous and children of all skill levels need to respect it.
For more water safety tips from the American Red Cross, click here.