Family holidays are a great time to relax and have loads of fun by the swimming pool or at the beach. For maximum enjoyment it is also important to be water safe, especially when travelling abroad. To help you and your family stay water safe on your holidays this summer, we have enlisted the help of our friend Max at Konfidence to give insight into the best water safety tips for parents.
“One of the key things you should remember is that children don’t cry out for help and wave to be rescued in the water – they disappear under the surface – often unseen and unheard. This makes supervision the key to safety and prevention of water related incidents.”
At the swimming pool – safety tips
Put water and children together and its usually a pretty sure combination for a fun filled holiday! The pool can be a fun and exciting place for little ones to play and learn – however the slippery surfaces and open water can often pose potential risks for tiny tots. Here are the best tips to help you relax and keep the children safe from swimming pool hazards:
- Always make sure an adult is pool side – even if your child is competent in the water. For infants and toddlers, it’s best to be in the water within arm’s reach. For older children, free yourself from distraction and be prepared to swim to their rescue if needed. Always have a clear understanding of who is supervising, particularly in a shared pool. As we all know, children are very easily distracted and can disappear from view in seconds.
- Check the water depth and make sure that you and your child knows which end is shallow and which end isn’t.
- Weak and non-swimmers should not go out of their depth unsupervised – even when they are using floatation devices.
- Walk, don’t run. Encourage little ones to walk, lots of pool accidents happen out of the water from slipping on the wet surface.
- Be aware of any trip hazards especially if any toys or float aids have been left out around the pool.
- Children should use a buoyancy aid or personal floatation device to be safe in and around the water. A big misconception is that parents with children who ‘can’ swim think they don’t need some form of buoyancy aid.
At the beach - safety tips
The beach offers a fantastic play environment for toddlers and small children. The pretty shells, soft sand and sparkling blue sea gets their imagination flowing as they spend endless hours playing with siblings or new friends they’ve made on holiday. Keep the magic of the beach alive and the anxiety at bay with some of our beach safety tips:
Familiarise yourself with the beach flags
- On the continent a ‘Red for Danger’ or ‘Yellow for Caution’ and a ‘Green Safe to Swim’ flag system is used, but often a bit on the liberal side. It’s better to be safe and swim only when the ‘Green’ flag is showing.
- Be aware of hazards – waves, tides, rip currents, sharp stones & coral.
- Avoid taking lilos and other inflatables into the water – they can cause the tide to take you out to sea and they may ‘pop’.
- Avoid playing near rocks, boats or other crafts.
- Always swim parallel to the shore rather than out to sea – and stay within your depth.
- Make sure there is an adult accompanying children in the sea and someone on the shore who knows you are swimming.
- Equip the kids with a bright swimming hat so they can be spotted easily and protected from the sun.
To help with water safety on holiday it’s important to set out rules with little ones that are old enough to understand them.
Here are 4 rules to stick to, making play around water safer:
Never swim on your own
Make sure you can always see us when playing
Not jumping into water that you haven’t been in before
Always wear something to keep you afloat (although not all children will need this, it is a good rule to be extra careful)
For more detailed information, you can download Konfidence’s free water safety booklet: https://www.konfidence.co.uk/media/wysiwyg/Water-Safety-Advice-Booklet.pdf
To find out more about Konfidence, visit www.konfidence.co.uk