Swimming With Kids – The Do’s and Don’ts

July 1, 2015

swimming-with-kids
If your summer has gone anything like mine, the majority has been spent at the swimming pool or around other bodies of water. With the temps as high as they’ve been, the pools are packed, but that hasn’t stopped my little fishes from diving right in with the rest of them.

Since pool day can sometimes turn hectic, here are a few tips to staying sane and safe while swimming with kids.


Babies and Toddlers

Hats off to all the moms that fall in this category right now. Toting toddlers and babies to the pool is not the easiest of tasks but hopefully these tips will make it a little more manageable.

The Do’s

  • Bring a source of shade, or go to a place where shade is in abundance. Little ones can burn out quickly when in the sun too long. Having a shady “spot” to come back to helps them from over-heating and allows you to take care of mommy duties without having to battle the sun as well.
  • Bring snacks and drinks. Most places will let you bring baby pouch type food for your little ones even if they have a no outside food rule.
  • Swim Diapers. If your little one is not potty trained these are required at any public pool. You can also find reusable water diapers pretty much anywhere, but note if your child poops the clean up is not that easy.
  • Rinse your baby after swimming. The harsh chemicals in public pools can irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Rinse them off (with soap) and lather them up in your favorite baby lotion.
  • Use the Water Watch Strategy if you are going with multiple adults and multiple children. One adult intently watches the water for 10-15 minutes. You can download the Water Watcher Card here
  • Have a phone close by in case an emergency does happen, you don’t have to waste precious time searching for your phone.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t bring food or snacks that melt quickly. Or bring a cooler to keep those items cool.
  • Don’t let your phone, book etc. distract you from your surroundings.
  • Don’t let your baby or toddler enter the water without an adult.
  • Don’t stay in the sun all day. Babies under 6 months should be kept out of the sun as much as possible.
  • Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses for those tiny tots
  • Don’t wait until you get to the pool to apply sunscreen. In order for sunscreen to properly work it needs to be applied 15-20 min before swimming and re-applied about every 30 min.
  • Don’t push your limits. Some days the kids might only last 30 min and that’s okay.
  • Don’t change diapers in, or around the pool.

Elementary Aged Kids

The Do’s

  • Use the Water Watch Strategy if you are going with multiple adults and multiple children. One adult intently watches the water for 10-15 minutes. You can download the Water Watcher Card here http://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/skw_water_watcher_card.pdf
  • Have a phone close by in case an emergency does happen, you don’t have to waste precious time searching for your phone.
  • Bring snacks and drinks.
  • Bring activities or pool toys to keep them entertained.
  • Lather them in sunscreen 30 min prior to swimming.
  • Encourage potty breaks to prevent them from “accidentally” peeing in the pool.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t assume they are safe in the water even if they can swim.
  • Don’t forget to make them take a drink break. Kids often don’t realize they are thirsty until dehydration has already set in.
  • Don’t allow your phone, book or nap distract you from closely watching your kids.
  • Don’t allow them to tell you they are bored. Suggest one of these fun swimming games below.

Fun Swimming Games For Kids

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