Are you familiar with the practice of active supervision? Sure, we all know that swimming children need to be carefully watched. That said, keeping a close eye on kids is more complicated than many adults realize. True water safety requires vigilance and your full attention. In 60% of child drowning incidents, the child was actually being "supervised" by one or more adults. In today’s DIY Pool Fence blog, we’re taking a closer look at active supervision.
Active Supervision: Best PracticesActive supervision helps a parent or adult keep a close, attentive eye on children. It is not enough to merely stand near the pool. Here are some of the best practices to help you stay alert for potential danger:
- Cut out any possible distractions. First and foremost, as the active supervisor, you have a job to do. Watching these kids should be your only focus. This is not a time to read a book or check twitter on your phone. You have a job to do. While watching swimming children, get rid of any potential distractions. Instead of multitasking, devote all of your attention toward supervising.
- Pay extra close attention to infants and toddlers. As the supervising adult, you should be in the water with the little ones. This goes double for infants and toddlers. Be sure to stay within arm’s reach at all times.
- Even older kids need close, constant attention. Just because the kids are growing up doesn’t mean it is okay to slack off. Above all, remember to treat active supervision as a sacred duty.
- Maintain visual contact. Drowning is often totally silent. This terrifying danger is not at all like it seems in the movies. In the real world, a drowning victim rarely has a chance to thrash and scream. Quite the opposite, in fact. It is far too easy for a child to quietly slip underneath the water. For this reason, always maintain visual contact. This includes when you are watching children that know how to swim.
- Touch supervision. As mentioned before, it’s important for the adult to actually get into the water with the swimming kids. Stay within arm’s reach of the children, close enough to touch in case of trouble. This has the added bonus of reducing the possibility of distraction.