Fun Activities To Teach Kids About Water Safety

Fun Ways to teach kids how to be safe while participating in common water activities.

As a parent or a caretaker of children, water activities can be especially fun, but often times there is an element of danger with children around water. Whether you have a swimming pool or just go to beaches, lakes, and rivers on vacation, it is important that your kids know the basics of water safety. Water safety doesn't have to be all rules, it can be fun and games! Below are some great ways you can teach your kids that water safety can be fun.

Swimming Pool Activity

While it is best that kids are never around a pool unsupervised, it is possible that children could be playing together around a pool and one fall in. Another child may know how to swim and be compelled to jump in and save their friend, however this is not a very good idea. Often times, a rescuer can soon become another victim. Drowning victims are in a state of panic, so the best way to help them is from outside the water.

You can teach your child the best way to lend a helping hand during a fun afternoon in the pool. Tell your child that you are going to play a game. Explain that you are going to pretend to drown, and he or she must think of the safest way to save you. Start out close to the edge and wave your arms in the air. If your child jumps in, catch him say, "Oh no! Now we'll both drown! Think of another way." Try to lead the child in the direction of reaching his arm out to you. The first time, he or she will most likely crouch down and reach an arm out. In this position, it is easy to pull the child right in with you. Do so to demonstrate this to the child. Next, suggest that the child lay on his or her stomach and reach an arm out. No matter how small the child, in this position he or she can save a large adult by pulling him to the edge of the pool. After this, try again, now little bit farther out, and tell the child to reach again. Provide a toy that a child may use, such as a pool noodle, a kickboard, or other appropriate item, to hold and reach out to you from the same reaching position, and he or she will know how to save someone even in the middle of the pool.

Life jackets

For swimmers and non-swimmers, life jackets are necessary part of boating activities. Before your trip to the lake, purchase appropriate life jackets for your children, and plan activities that will help them get comfortable with their new life jacket. In the pool, older kids can either race each other swimming in their life jackets, or you can time them and see if they can get faster and faster. Younger kids can be taught to float in their life jacket. Littler ones may find it especially fun to do swim on their backs in their lifejackets. Kids can also jump into the water in their life jackets and see how fast they come to the surface. The more comfortable kids are in their life jackets, the more likely they are to wear them when in matters.

Other Ideas

Even when you can't teach safety hands on, there are lots of other ways you can teach your kids about safe fun in the water. The U.S Coast Guard offers coloring books and activity books to teach kids about water safety. These can be found at or by contacting a local coast guard office. If you do not have access to a pool normally or would like to have some extra activities for your child, it can also be a good idea to sign your child up for swim lessons. The YMCA offers swim lessons that teach your child to swim as well as important water safety tips.

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