As our children age into young adults, it can be hard to get them to pay attention to what we try to teach them, and water safety education is no exception. As they grow into young adults in their own right, they actively try to cultivate their own independence, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need your guidance or that they only make good decisions. In fact, as they look to leave the nest more and more, their decisions take on consequences of ever-increasing importance, and the wrong decisions can stick with them for the rest of their life. This makes it vital that you power through the eye rolls, dramatic sighs, and slammed doors to create a real foundation of water safety that helps them explore their boundaries while staying grounded with a safety mindset.
Why Teens Need To Understand Water Safety
Teens are rapidly heading toward life on their own. Along with that comes less immediate supervision by a parent. Giving them sensible water safety education helps inform their choices. And this doesn’t just protect your child, but their friends and the people around them as well. No longer children, they’re far more capable of interacting with and affecting the world around them, although they may need guidance to realize their potential. Before cutting your teens lose with their friends for pool, lake, or water park shenanigans, make sure their knowledge base includes:
- How To Spot And Mitigate Dangerous Situations – The easiest way to avoid getting injured by hazardous situations around water is learning how to spot them before they become a threat. As part of their water safety education, make sure they know to look for electrical hazards like phone charges near puddles of water, extension cords, and shorted wires. Instill the importance of keeping areas around a pool free from tripping hazards like rumpled towels or loose gravel. Finally, make sure they understand that glass should never be around swimming water, as broken glass is extremely hard to spot underwater and can cause deep gashes.
- When “Having Fun” Isn’t Fun – Bullying is an increasingly hot topic with youth and parents across the country. Everyone knows bullying should not be tolerated, but around water, it can be doubly dangerous. Everyone has a different comfort and skill level with water, and it is very easy to push “playing rough” into dangerous territory in an environment where drowning injuries are possible. Their water safety education should address recognizing signs of distress and refusal of consent–even when they are not being supervised by adults–to avoid tragic accidents they don’t see coming. If they’re not sure about a situation in their own group or with another group of youth, they should know when to walk away and when to find a supervising adult to help.
- Skills That Can Save A Life – Teenagers have the size, strength, and coordination to learn infant, child, and adult CPR and first aid as well as get an education in water safety. By getting their certification from the American Red Cross, they’ll get the training they need to recognize an emergency, know the proper way to respond, and how to treat minor emergencies or keep victims of major emergencies, such as sudden cardiac arrest or drowning, alive until emergency medical services arrive.
It’s Never Too Early To Start Teaching
The best way to get your young adult to listen to your water safety education tips is to start instilling a sense of water safety while they’re still young. By making water safety part of the atmosphere around your house, they’re more likely to view these lessons as the passing on of knowledge than as adding additional restrictions to their activities. In many cases, this can be as simple as following common-sense safety practices yourself.
- Make Sure You Keep Your Pool Secure – By equipping your pool area with a safety pool fence or safety pool cover, you provide a physical barrier that keeps curious kids and unauthorized adults out of your pool area. This helps teach that competent supervision is necessary for swimming fun.
- Maintain A Hazard-Free Pool Area – If you want the importance of avoiding hazardous swimming facilities to hit home in your teen’s water safety education, start by maintaining your backyard oasis as a great example. Once they know what a clear, safe pool area looks like, it’s easier to spot problems when they present themselves.
- Make Sure You Are Visibly Prepared For Emergencies – If you’re a pool owner, you should already have your CPR and first aid certifications, but you should go farther than that. Make sure you maintain a well-stocked first aid kit that is readily accessible. Get your kids and teens involved when it’s time to check it annually so they also become accustomed to its presence and proper use.
If Your Young Adults Absolutely Won’t Listen To You, Get Others Involved
If your best efforts at providing a water safety education continue to fall on deaf ears, don’t be afraid to call in the experts. Most public pool facilities offer water safety courses that are taught in a more regimented classroom environment your children may be more accustomed to. You can also try getting together with their friends’ parents to send the group to water safety classes together. By making it a peer activity, you can avoid a teen’s resistance to their parents teaching them.
Make Your Pool Area Safer
Getting the safety fencing or pool cover that keeps your family, pets, and guests safer is a great water safety choice. Contact our specialists today for a free quote tailored to your pool’s needs. Check back with the Aqua-Safe Unlimited Blog regularly for the water safety education updates you and your family need.