While it's a fact that accidents happen, it's important to teach our little ones how best to respond. Having the skills and knowledge of what to do in case of an emergency or dangerous situation can save a life!
Below you will find the top three scenarios and how you should teach your children to respond if they are even in one of these dangerous situations.
SCENARIO 1: While swimming you can no longer touch the bottom and are starting to feel tired.
You should... bob back to an area where you can stand in chest-deep water. To bob back to shore, you push off the bottom of the swimming area (lake, ocean, pool, etc.) as hard as you can and leap forward. Take a breath when your head is above water and then take another leap forward. Continue this pattern until you are back in chest-deep water. If you are too tired to continue, float on your back or tread water while calling for help.
SCENARIO 2: While you are swimming you see lightning or hear thunder nearby.
You should... get out of the water immediately and leave the swimming area. If possible, get indoors.
SCENARIO 3: While swimming at the beach, you notice that the current keeps pulling you further away from the shore and you are having a difficult time making any forward progress swimming back.
You are most likely caught in a riptide. You should... start swimming parallel to the beach instead of swimming back to shore. Once you no longer feel the pull away from the shore, you are out of the riptide and can begin swimming diagonally back to shore.
If you are too tired to continue, float on your back or tread water while calling for help. Keep floating until someone comes to rescue you, someone throws you a floatation device, you no longer feel the pull away from the shore, or you have the energy to start swimming again.
Understanding what to do in dangerous situations is part of being a safe water-competent swimmer. To learn more about your swimmers' knowledge of water safety and how you can support them at home, take our water competency quiz!