6 Important Water Safety Questions Every Parent Should Ask

We want you to enjoy your spring and summer – safely. That’s why our instructors at Miller Swim School incorporate water safety skills into each and every lesson. And, several times a year, we put even more focus onto teaching water safety.

But no matter the time of year, you should always know water safety steps to keep you and your kids safer in the water.

Here are 6 Important Water Safety Questions Every Parent Should Ask:

  1. When can my child swim alone?

We want to teach our kids independence, but we always want them to stay safe. So, when is it OK for your child to swim alone – and by alone we mean with you nearby, but not necessarily right there in the water? Is it ever OK? It’s always a good idea to have a buddy in the water at all times, and every child and situation is different and needs to be analyzed accordingly. Swimmers should have adequate strokes, breathing technique, distance, and safety training under their belt before they swim alone. Keep in mind, the lake and the pool are very different situations – we never recommend a swimmer be alone in the lake and without a lifejacket.

  1. When should we use puddle jumpers and/or life jackets?

When learning to swim, we believe it is more beneficial for kids to learn without water wings, puddle jumpers or life jackets. However, every child should always wear life jackets when on a boat (typically it is the law in every state that kids ages 13 and younger must wear life jackets on boats), in a pool, or at the ocean. Beyond that, you’ll have to consider what kinds of water you’re in, how deep it is, your child’s skill level, if you’re in the water, and other issues. Refer to question 1 if you are wondering if your child is safe to swim without a floatation device.

  1. What are the signs of drowning?

Drowning happens quickly, and it can be difficult to notice because it typically it does not involve splashing and loud yelling. If someone is having trouble in the water, they may quietly slip under the water. Even experienced swimmers can quickly become distressed and may fatigue and slip under the water unnoticed. Refer to this Red Cross article for more signs of drowning and actions to take.

  1. How can I help my kids become better swimmers?

Part of being able to swim alone is knowing water safety skills. When kids – and all of us, really – understand what it takes to be safer in the water and how to implement those safety skills, the focus can be on improving swimming technique skills. Year-round swim lessons are highly recommended to maintain skills throughout the year and do keep kids more confident in the water.

  1. What are the two most important safety lessons my kids need to know?

Number 1: never enter a body of water without permission. If you train your swimmers to ASK before they get in the pool, they will never jump in and attempt to get a toy. Young swimmers tend to overestimate their ability to swim out a distance and back. But if they must ask before they get in the pool, the reduces the chances they will attempt something they may not be quite ready for. Number 2: never swim without an adult. This teaches swimmers to always have a buddy in the water, to never swim when they are alone or unattended.

  1. What to do if I don’t know how to swim?

It can be quite the conundrum: How do you keep your kid’s safe in the water when you don’t know how to swim yourself? First of all, it’s important to not impart any fear of the water onto your kids. Putting your kids to swim lessons helps to empower them and allows them to be safer and confident in the water. Did you know we offer swim lessons for Adults too? It can be encouraging and inspiring to a young swimmer to see their parent conquer a new skill!