Keep them safe near water

Always make sure that swimming instructors are certified and have proper experience when giving swimming lessons to children.
Parents need to understand that summertime is a fun time, with great weather for children to play in and around water, however, they must be mindful that swimming can be potentially very dangerous.
It is important to know what types of precautions to take and what needs to be aware of in terms of keeping their children safe in the water.

Basic water safety rules:
* Water safety starts with correct supervision.
* Children cannot be left alone in the swimming pool, even if it is a kiddies’ pool.
* Parents should always exercise the touch and reach supervision strategy, which means that they are always within an arm’s length of the child.
* Parents shouldn’t leave the smaller children under the supervision of other, older children, as this is a fatal exercise and practice.
* Invite other parents and adults to help supervise a bigger number of children in the pool, as one adult can only manage a few.
* If there will be children swimming at a bigger gathering, be sure to designate pool guards who do not drink or socialise, and be alert at all times.
* Basic CPR is essential to parents and lifeguards with children who have access to pools.
* Floaters or inflatable devices are not an alternative to supervision, as they will not prevent children from drowning.
* Create basic rules for the swimming pool, like no running, no diving and no swimming alone.

Swimming pool drowning prevention:
* There is no substitute for a four-sided fence around a swimming-pool.
* The fencing around the swimming pool must not be able to be climbed by children and it must have a self-closing or self-latching gate that is above the reach of children.
* Around the swimming pool, there shouldn’t be any items nearby that would allow children to climb up over the fence to access the pool.
* Other children in the neighbourhood should not have access into the yard, as this will lure them to jump over the boundary fence, onto the premises to access the swimming pool.
* Pool covers, door alarms and pool alarms work well in conjunction with fences, but they are not a substitute for a four-sided pool fence.
* Swimming pools should be covered with a pool-net at all times when they are not in use.
* Don’t leave toys near the swimming pool when the pool is not being used.
* Air filled or floating devices are not substitutes for life jackets. They are not meant to be used as safety devices.
* Information obtained from www.parents.com.

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