Swimming is an essential life skill that everyone should learn. It reduces your risk of drowning. You never know when that swimming skill will come in handy. Some day, it may save your life or that of someone you love.

As a parent, your kids should learn how to swim in their early days. However, before letting your teens swim, teach them how to stay safe in the water. Even if your child is a competent swimmer, they still need to learn about swimming safety. Remember that teens are adventurous. They may exceed their boundaries and get in danger. That is why we can’t overemphasise the importance of swimming safety for teens. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 370 children and teens between the ages of 10-19 drown every year. So, you must make sure your teens stay safe in the water.

Swimming Safety Tips For Teens

Here are some swimming safety tips you can teach your teens.

1. Learn the Basics

If your kids are not strong swimmers, let them learn from a professional swimming instructor. Teens often overestimate their ability and may want to wing it, especially to impress their peers. Don’t let them. Enrol them in a proper swimming class and let them learn the basics of swimming and water survival from scratch. 

2. Never Swim Alone

swimming safety
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When your kids learn to swim, the real work starts. Drowning often occurs when teens swim without adult supervision. You need to supervise your kids when they’re swimming. Remember, you are dealing with teenagers. They are prone to get into all kinds of mischief and trouble. So, you must keep an eye on them when they are in the pool. Don’t allow them to swim alone. Go with them to the pool and stay close at all times. Make sure they swim only when there are lifeguards on duty.

You can also instruct your kids to apply the buddy rule when swimming. That means they must always go swimming with their sibling or friend. This way they can look out for each other when you’re not around to supervise. 

READ: How to Get a Good Nanny

3. Choose a Safe Swimming Spot

Swimming in a river or ocean is quite different from swimming in a pool. Before going into natural water like oceans and lakes, make sure the water is safe from swimming. Make sure your teens swim within designated areas with lifeguards. Don’t let them swim in areas meant for boat rides and fishing. Be aware of cold water bodies and avoid water bodies with large waves, powerful undertows and rip currents. 

4. Enter the Water Feet First

Teach your teens that diving headfirst into shallow water can be dangerous. It could cause head injury, spinal cord damage, paralysis and even death. They can only know the depth of the water when they enter with their feet. It also helps them identify any possible underwater hazards that can’t be seen from the surface. 

If they must dive into any water body, make sure they learn the correct way to do that and areas that are safe for diving. They must not dive into a pool that doesn’t have a designated area for diving, no matter the depth of the water. Also, if the sign says, “No diving”, then it means no diving!

5. Always Wear a Life Jacket

Swimming Safety
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Another swimming safety for teens is wearing a life jacket whenever they are swimming, boating or jet skiing, especially if there is no lifeguard around. You can buy one of the stylish, colourful and comfortable ones for your teens. 

Children learn by imitation. They are more likely to obey if they see you’re not just dishing out orders. You can set a good example for your teens by wearing a life jacket too. They will be inclined to wear theirs if they see you wear yours. 

6. Stay Sober on the Water

Teach your teens the danger of taking alcohol or drugs before or when swimming. Alcohol and swimming do not mix. It could increase their risk of drowning as it affects their balance and coordination. They could also suffer hypothermia in water. 

Also, don’t drink alcohol or use drugs when swimming or supervising your kids. Lead by example and maintain a level head. Don’t give your kids strong medication before swimming. The side effects of some drugs can make them feel drowsy while swimming. This rule also applies to hot tubs and bathtubs.

7. Practice Proper Breathing Techniques 

breathing technique
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Make sure your kids learn and practise proper breathing techniques when swimming. Teens tend to play dangerous games with their friends while swimming, like competing to see who can hold their breath underwater. Warn your teens not to take part in such games as it could cause drowning. If they hyperventilate or hold their breath underwater for too long, they may pass out underwater. 

8. Stay Away from Pool Drains

Show your teens what the pool drain looks like. Teach them the importance of staying away from the drain, especially if it’s broken or missing a cover. Their hair, bathing suits and even limbs could get stuck in broken or faulty drains, which can lead to drowning or serious injury. If you notice one that’s working incorrectly, report it immediately.

9. Learn Emergency Response Techniques 

Make sure that you, your teens and their caregivers learn how to respond to swimming emergencies. CPR and safe rescue techniques. This doesn’t mean they should try to play the hero when they see someone drowning. Often, their first instinct would be to jump in and help the drowning swimmer. However, this act of bravery could lead to two people drowning. 

Teach your teens how to get help when they see someone drowning, instead of trying to play the hero. Instead of jumping into the water, they could call a lifeguard or try pulling the swimmer to safety with a long object. This way, they get to save a life without putting themselves at risk.

Conclusively,

Swimming safety requires the collective effort of parents and teens. As you dishing out rules, make sure you and your teens are on the same page. Make sure your teens understand the importance of being safe in the water. Explain the reasons behind each rule to help them understand and act accordingly. Finally, advise your teens to be their brother’s keeper and look out for each in the pool. 

You can also keep a watch on your kids with our KeepMeSafe App. It is a software that helps you keep tabs on your loved ones wherever they are to ensure that they are safe. It has a GPS tracker, video & audio recorder, SOS signals and chats! Click here to get you started.

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