Saturday, 16 August 2014

Swimming Guidance Water Safety Awareness Guide .... post 60

The purpose of this Water Safety Awareness Guide is to teach a conscious awareness of the dangers of water as a swimmer or a non-swimmer


©       Drowning happens silently and quickly even in shallow water

©       Within 30 seconds a small child can drown in 4cm of water without a sound

©       By keeping a child within arm’s length in and around water can prevent a fatal drowning accident

©       Children drown in buckets toilets baths drains ponds paddling / tidal / swimming pools rivers dams lagoons estuaries canals vleis swamps tidal pools in the ocean

©       Drinking alcohol impairs one’s swimming ability and vigilance in and around water

©       Ignorance of Water Safety Awareness knowledge can cause drowning

©       PANIC can cause drowning

©       Swimming lessons do not make children ‘drown-proof’’ however they do teach children Water Safety Awareness make them aware of their limit in and around water, develops a sense of survival

©       Without supervision paddling / tidal / swimming pools garden ponds water features buckets of water garden hoses constitute a Water Safety Hazard

©       Always being on the lookout for possible dangers in and around water

©       Take heed of safety hints and warning signs

©       Always knowing where your child is

©       Keeping your child within arm’s length in and around water

©       Ensuring Water Safety

©       Parents are the first layer of safety in and around Water by taking responsibility for their child / children..... not the grandparent nanny au pair sibling domestic or any other person
©       Second layer of safety is ALWAYS KNOWING WHERE YOUR CHILD / CHILDREN are
©       Third layer of safety is having your child/children WITHIN ARM’S LENGTH
To prevent drowning accidents parents should read understand and follow all the guidelines set out by knowledgeable experienced professionals 

Regardless of how many water safety products you use viz. Pool fence self closing self-locking gates gate / door alarms rigid pool covers underwater motion swimming pool alarm wrist alarms etc. VIGILANCE IS STILL THE PARENTS PRIME RESPONSIBILITY to keep children safe in and around water 



©       Always know where your child is

©       Ignore the ringing doorbell and telephones or take the child with you to answer one or the other

©       Never leave young children alone in the bath

©       Do not leave young children to supervise bath time

©       Keep basin and bath plugs out of reach of children

©       Keep toilet lids down, doors to the toilet and/or bathroom closed and locked, the key out of their reach

©       All water containers in and around the home should be empty, covered, out of reach of children behind locked doors

©       Keep top loader washing machine lids closed and laundry room doors closed, locked, the key out of reach of small children

©       Use a non-slip mat during bath time


©       It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that their children learn to swim. It is a parent’s responsibility to watch children at all times whether they can swim or not. Children who have learned to swim are aware of safety in and around water 

©       The use of floatation aids by infants toddlers and young children is a diversion of responsibility giving both parent and child a false sense of confidence / security about swimming ability / safety in and around Water. When not in use deflate and pack out of sight

©       Never take swimming aids for granted as being a safety aid. Swimming aids should not be used without supervision
       post 14 

Safe practice is to …… 

©       Always know where your child is

©       Never ASSUME a child’s swimming ability in any water environment

©       Always keep a child / children within arm’s length in and around water

©       Ensure that swimming pool water is always crystal clear to see to the bottom of the pool

©       Have Emergency telephone numbers close at hand. Next to the telephone is a good place

©       Never leave a domestic nanny an au pair who cannot swim or has not been trained in Water Safety   Awareness and Emergency Action to supervise the pool area. (Non-swimmers do not realise dangers in water)

©      Ensure domestics nannies and au pairs can swim, attend a proper Water Safety Awareness Workshop delivered by a qualified experienced Teacher to ensure PREVENTATIVE measures rather than be expected to deal with SECONDARY measures being that of Emergency Action  

©       Never answer the telephone inside the house leaving children unattended in and around water

©       Never talk on a mobile phone or read a book /magazine / newspaper while supervising children in and around water 

©       Install a pool net. Follow the rules set down by the manufacturer. Keep the water level below the net. Maintain your safety net regularly.  Do not rely on a safety net. It does not guarantee the prevention of drowning 

©       Install a pool fence to prevent access to a swimming pool. The gate should be self closing self latching (spring loaded) with a childproof lock. Never leave the pool gate open. Ensure there is nothing to stand on to climb over the pool fence

©       Check that the neighbour’s swimming pool is fenced adequately the gate locked inaccessible to your child 

©       Additional ‘layer of safety’ is the installation of a ‘sub surface pool alarm’ which alerts entry into the pool area or pool 

©       Teach children to ask if they may swim so that you know that they are in the swimming pool

©       Encourage non-swimmers to enter and leave the swimming pool at the steps

©       Never turn your back on the children who are playing in the swimming pool or at the poolside 

©       Never expect anyone to take responsibility for your children in or around water.

©       Never take responsibility for other people’s children

©       In water no games which require ‘fake cries for help’ 

Small children should wear tight fitting swimsuits. Loose fitting swimwear fills with Water causing small children to overbalance 

©     During the summer season children must drink WATER before and after swimming to prevent dehydration

©       Do not allow children to swim until their lips are blue with cold. This indicates hypothermia starting to set in 

©       Do not eat or drink while in the water

©       Do not allow the chewing of gum while swimming

©       Do not allow swimming for at least one hour after eating a meal. A full tummy breathing in air swallowing water in small quantities builds up ‘burps’ which will induce vomiting and subsequent choking 

©       Do not allow running to jump or dive into the pool  

©       Diving into a crowded swimming pool should not be allowed

©       Do not allow physical contact while playing in the water. No pushing, pulling, lifting, ducking  

©       Do not allow screaming and shouting whilst in the water

©       Do not allow running riding of tricycles / bicycles plastic skateboards rollerblading around the swimming pool 

©       When not using a pool net the water level in swimming pools should ALWAYS be kept high to prevent small children from overbalancing when reaching into it. The high water level enables reaching for the poolside should they fall into the water

©       Teach small children to lie on their tummies when reaching into a pool to splash water or to retrieve a floating object. Water reflections attract the attention of small children who want to touch and splash them                      

©       Pack all swimming aids floating toys balls plastic bottles buckets water containers out of sight and out of reach of children when not in use for swimming

©       Paddling pools should be emptied when not in use. Store upside down out of sight. The garden hose should not be attached to the tap

©       Keep leaf nets and cleaning equipment out of sight when not in use 

©       A pool blanket is not a safety device. Do not allow play on a pool blanket. Should a child fall onto the blanket they will slip under it undetected

©       Read all ‘Rules of the Pool’ placed at the entrance to public / community swimming pools or leisure centres 


In open Water we are dealing with elements beyond our control – tidal change rips / currents wind
The ocean is unpredictable  

©       Always know where your child is. Never ASSUME that your partner or a family member is taking care of a child

©       Read all signs placed at parking lots at the beach tidal pools picnic spots rivers dams vleis at all public open water areas. Heed danger warnings and signs. Swim only within designated safe areas

©       Note emergency telephone numbers. Keep a mobile phone with you

©       At the beach, to be seen, children should wear brightly coloured swim caps

©       Never ever turn your back on or leave small children to play around or have access to open water without supervision

©       Stay away from steep slippery river banks

©       Children should be supervised when walking on rocks on dam or tidal pool walls alongside water

©       When fishing from the water’s edge children should wear a life jacket

©       When entering a canoe or boat children should wear a life jacket

©       Should young people paddle a canoe or kayak for an extensive distance their point of destination or time away should be known by an adult. They should carry with them a charged mobile phone sealed in a plastic bag

©       Children should be discouraged from jumping into the Water to help others. A floatable object can be thrown to a victim to hold onto

©       Older children are at risk of drowning when they overestimate their swimming ability

©       Do not swim at dusk or at night especially in open water areas or unmanned beaches

©       Always be aware of the incoming and outgoing tides at the beach tidal pools rivers lagoons and estuaries. Find out the ‘mood of the water’ of the area when doing coastal hikes or going fishing. Neap tide inter-tidal action is gentler than Spring tide.

©       Discourage swimming with clothes on especially in the ocean 

If necessary tether yourself to adventurous toddlers
to set physical boundaries of movement  

©       Floatation aids (armbands belts etc) should never be used without the full attention and supervision of an adult who can swim confidently in any water situation. Inflatable toys should never be used in windy open water areas        

©       A lillo or floating toy may easily be swept away by the wind currents tidal change or backwash with your child on it. Never assume children are safe when playing on them 

©       Never snorkel scuba dive surf or swim alone even if you are a good swimmer 

©       Do not dive head first into shallow murky or turbulent water. Obstacles (rocks tree stumps submerged objects sandbanks) may be submerged, unseen. Injury to the head may cause brain damage, paralysis or death by drowning. When diving into water always extend the arms above the head

                 post 56

Knowing what to do who to contact keeping your cool can save a life yours or the lives of others when faced with an emergency in and around Water

                          post 58  

DO NOT PANIC is the first and most important rule of survival in and around Water whether at the beach or inland water (swimming pool dams lakes lagoons estuaries vleis swamps rivers tidal pools) when you or anyone else is in trouble. Always have an emergency number close at hand. If you are a beach stroller the number of the local police service should be listed in your mobile phone. The Police will alert Rescue Services  

Lifesaving in all its forms dictate than no person
shall put their life in danger to save another if it will cause a double tragedy 

©       The international signal used by victims or rescuers in all open water situations (rivers dams lakes estuaries tidal pools the ocean) for assistance required is to raise one arm high above the head to continuously wave it from side to side  

©       If a swimmer is in trouble in open Water assess wisely your ability to carry out a successful rescue without causing a double tragedy

©       If a second observer is present send them for help with the details of the emergency (place distance offshore number of victims adults or children water / wind conditions attempted rescue taking place). Be calm and specific when reporting an emergency

©       When swimming out into open water in an attempt to rescue a victim use swim fins. A boogie board surf board sail board paddle-ski or kayak could be used to keep rescuer and victim /s buoyant. Do not allow the victim to hold onto you at any time. You must be in control of the rescue at all times. NB. Consider the risk involved in the rescue e.g.  wind direction currents tide distance fitness

©       If a victim is close to the shore throw a floatable object for them to hold onto or an item of clothing or a branch which is within reaching distance from the shore by both victim and rescuer  

Sea Water is denser than fresh Water therefore floatation is easier. The skill of back floating is a functional Water skill whereby one can rest conserve energy breathe and observe one’s surroundings to evaluate one’s own rescue  

Rip currents are identified as a body of water moving out to sea (i.e. moving in the opposite direction to the movement of waves rolling onto the beach). White frothy / foamy water and / or debris can be seen flowing away from the beach 

Rip currents generally occur on a beach where there is a stream or river mouth along rocks piers or pipes where there is a barrier to the flow of the Water. With this knowledge, when in doubt, do not enter the Water at any of these sites  

DO NOT PANIC when caught in a rip. CALMLY swim with the rip until you can feel the current weaken then slowly swim parallel with and towards the beach until you can stand. Never try to swim against a rip current  

©       When caught in the flow of the incoming or outgoing tide of a lagoon, swim without panic diagonally with the flow until you can feel the flow weaken. Feel for a foothold on the sandy bottom to walk out of the Water or slowly swim to safety. This life skill is also used when caught in the flow of a river by swimming diagonally with the river towards the safety of the riverbank