May is National Water Safety Month, and there’s no better time to put safe practices in place! Time in the pool is sure to increase as families stuck at home look for fun activities, and as summer approaches that will only bring more opportunity for days in the pool.
Increased time in the pool also means increased risk of drowning. That’s why water safety awareness is an initiative Pool Scouts firmly believes in, not just during May but throughout the year. We have some practical steps you and your family can take to make time spent in the pool safe AND fun.
Games are a great way to get the entire family engaged while spending time in the pool. When you throw in a little competition, it’s sure to get everyone’s attention. Here are a few games that teach different aspects of water safety. It’s recommended that all games below be played in the shallow end of your pool.
- A Scavenger Hunt in the pool is a great way for kids to have fun in the pool while teaching them not to be afraid of water. Divide the family into teams and have them dive for items that are heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the pool.
- The game Atomic Whirlpool teaches children about currents. In this game, everyone gathers in a circle, and begins walking in a circle. Then everyone will gradually change to a jog, and finally a run, staying in a circle. Once there’s a whirlpool going, everyone stops and tries to go in the other direction. This one is also great exercise!
- Red Light Green Light is a game that teaches listening to swim instructors, and to stop when they hear a whistle blow. Much like the land version, when the instructor says ‘green light’ everyone will advance toward the instructor. When they say ‘red light’ everyone must stop. Anyone who moves when they say ‘red light’ is out. Whoever gets to the instructor first wins.
Other Fun Ways to Incorporate Water Safety
- Use water toys, such as pool noodles, to help make swimming fun and safe. However, make sure to not have too many floats in the pool at once, as this can make it difficult to see kids swimming, and remove them from the pool when play is done so they don’t become temptations for little swimmers once everyone is out of the pool.
- Online water safety can be just as fun on a gloomy day. Check out this site, which includes a pool safety song featuring Laurie Berkner and an app with water safety games. Be sure to check out our water safety activity pages as well, featuring Fleur the Flamingo!
- Always swim with a buddy. Making sure children always have a buddy to swim with will be fun for them, but also ensures they’re never alone in the pool.
Tips for A Safer Pool
In addition to making sure your family is aware of water safety, here are some other important practices you should always have in place.
- Install proper barriers or alarms around your pool. Having the proper barrier or an alarm will ensure no one is in the pool area when it’s not swim time. In addition, teach children to never try and climb over the gate or fence.
- Know how to perform CPR. Keep up with a current CPR certification, so that you’re always prepared.
- Have a designated water watcher. Make sure that when there are children in the pool, there is an adult assigned as the ‘designated water watcher.’
- Check chemicals on a regular basis. This is especially important right now as everyone works to keep a healthy and clean environment. Keeping a clean pool can help kill viruses and germs. Check pH and sanitizer levels daily before using your pool. Maintain a 7.2 pH and a 3-5ppm chlorine level. If you’re tired of the constant upkeep of pool chemicals, give Pool Scouts a call!
With these water safety tips and best practices, you can enjoy your pool knowing that your family is informed and prepared. For more information on water safety, visit our Water Safety page.