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Water Safety: How To Watch Your Children, Family & Friends

Water Safety: It's not just about Don'ts

With all the advice out there on water safety and how to keep all those you care about safe in the water, you'd think there was nothing left to say.

Wait... Get Your Lesson Plans Here

But each year the drowning still manage to stack up and people still think that it is about what you don't do that keeps you safe.
  • Don't go in the water for 1/2 an hour after eating
  • Don't go in the water without a friend
  • Don't get distracted or have anything that distracts you from watching
  • Don't dive into shallow or unknown waters
  • Don't swim outside the flags
  • Don't swim in a Rip
The list goes on and on but it can be summed up in one simple statement: "Be Paranoid"!

Image of a Life buoy on the back of a boat in the water: Water Safety means respect for the water
Water Safety Mean Respect
For The Water

The Problem

The problem is that if you carry being paranoid through to its logical conclusion you'd never do anything.

There is no doubt that you can be safe by not doing lots of things but what about the things you should do?

Out of all the things that I know not to do, as a Life Guard and Swim Teacher the thing that I have learned, that I think is also the most profound is:
Water Safety is to do with "Respect For The Water".
If you respect the water then there is no need to have a list of don'ts.

If you respect the water then you are going to realize that the water has its own set of rules and these rules are not in your control. If you jump in the deep end and you can't swim the chances are you will drown; if you do flips into the water without respect for the water you or someone else near you, will quite likely end up with an injury; If you swim in the rip because you did not learn to respect the water you are going to be taken out to sea; If you haven't taken the time to teach your children to respect for the water, they will think it's a game and jump in when you are not looking; If you haven't learned respect for the water you won't put up a fence around your pool and make sure it is safe and secure; if you don't respect the water you will let your children play in it without you being in it with them.

Respect For The Water is The Guiding Principle

If you think about it respect for the water is the guiding principle that determines every rule that ever was concerning water safety.

For all their advertising to get you to take your children to swim lessons as small as 6 months or less; most of which is more mythology than reality, I will never work out why Swim schools don't concentrate on promoting the biggest benefit of babies and toddlers will be taught in their lesson is respect for the water. It is the thing that I am most sure children learn when I teach that age group.

What is true for the youngest of us is true for every age group.

Remember this: The biggest factor in water safety is to do with "Respect For The Water"


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