Water safety tips for little swimmers

Summer holidays - weeks of swimming pools, time-out at the beach house, holiday resort, a friends farm or just fun at varying homes of friends and family.

The Summer holidays deliver plenty of fun and playtime activities for little people, but also far more opportunities for accidents as friends and family enjoy social gatherings and holidays.

To ensure your holidays are happy as well as safe as possible and worry-free, use the following tips:

At Home

  • During a social gathering or party - nominate several people to be in charge of watching the children.
  • Always supervise children in, on or near water.
  • Fence home pools and include self-closing gates.
  • Remember to shut the pool gate
  • Remove any object which would allow a toddler to climb up to open a gate. Eg. Large flower pot.
  • Don't leave toys in the pool, they attract young people.
  • Empty all buckets, and paddle pools after playing.
  • Do not allow little children to run around the pool edge.
  • Don't rely on water wings or other blow-up swimming aids to keep you child safe. They can deflate, fall off or flip your child over leaving them unable to right themselves.
  • Keep bath plugs our of reach of small children.
  • Close top loading washing machines.
  • Keep fish ponds, aquariums or any catchment of water covered.
  • Install rigid covers over spas

The Beach

  • Ensure both you and your children paddle or swim between the flags
  • Watch for rough weather - wading into the ocean with a toddler on your hip when your own safety is at risk - puts their life at risk.
  • Even in shallow water at the beach stay within an arm's length of a child.

General Play

While it is a lot of fun for both toddlers and parents to jump up and down and let little swimmers splash in and under the water in your arms, remember that little people can swallow so much water they can develop water intoxication. It can also make them susceptible to waterborne bacteria.

General Safety

  • Do not try to save a swimmer in trouble if you do not have the skills or strength. Immediately call for assistance from the lifeguard present at the beach or public pool. If you put yourself at risk, you put the lives of you children at risk - more so if they are left alone near the water while you enter the water unassisted.
  • When relaxing at home recovering from a festive event or just a long year, remember who is on duty at home. If mum needs a "power nap" make sure that dad or an adult in the home is in charge of toddlers and tiny people who look for mischief at every opportunity!

Tips sourced from The Royal Life Saving Society and Austswim. For more information log onto www.royallifesaving.com.au or www.austswim.com.au