First and foremost, make sure your children learn to swim as early in their lives as you can possibly manage it.
- Swimming Pools
Remember that pools are made of concrete, which is rough, hard, and can certainly cause injury. Teach your children that they can jump off the sides of the pool, but the only place they can dive is off a diving board. Also point out to them the numbers that are painted on the sides of the pool to indicate depth, and give them instruction on which numbers they are allowed to play by, based on their age, size and swimming abilities.
If the pool is posted with a "No Lifeguard on Duty" sign, make sure an adult who knows how to swim is with the children at all times. Do not allow the children to push or jump on others, which could cause accidental injury. Flotation toys are just that - toys - fun to play with, but don't fall into a false sense of security that they can save a life. Make sure your kids do not chew gum or eat while in the pool as they could easily choke.
- Water Parks
Check out what each attraction is like before allowing your children to participate. Make sure your children wear life jackets if they don't know how to swim or are not strong swimmers. Read all of the signs for each attraction, making sure that your child is tall enough, old enough, and doesn't have any of the medical conditions that are listed. Questions? Ask a lifeguard or attendant.
Instruct your children to always go to down a waterslide face up and feet first, and to allow the person ahead of them to pass a safe point before getting on the ride. If a lifeguard is on duty, remind your children to listen to the instructions. And caution your kids that because it's slippery they are not to run from ride to ride.
(Photo of Notchville Water Park near the Smugglers Notch Timeshare Resort)