The DIY Guide to the Buddy System
The buddy system is a tried and true method of water safety. At Pool Fence DIY, we always strive to keep kids out of harm’s way. When it comes to keeping kids safe at the pool or beach, losing track of little ones is one of the greatest dangers. Fortunately, the buddy system adds an extra layer of protection… another kid! Here’s how it works!
Understanding the Buddy SystemThe buddy system is just as simple as it sounds. Danger can more easily happen when kids are swimming alone. Try as they might, it is always possible for a child to slip away from a parent or lifeguard’s watchful eyes. With the buddy system, you are pairing two kids together, making each of them responsible for the other’s safety. That’s great, because even strong swimmers can find themselves in trouble. Swimming lessons are great, but there is no such thing as total security. In this case, having two friends keep an eye on each other can double your chances for safety.
The Buddy System Works Best for Big GroupsDrowning is one of the major causes when it comes to the death of children. As you can probably guess, it pays to take extra care. The buddy system is an excellent precaution for worried caregivers. In particular, it’s very helpful for large gatherings. For example, this includes summer camps, pool parties, beach outings… pretty much anywhere in which large groups of kids are going to take a dip. When paired with active supervision and an attentive lifeguard, the buddy system acts like an extra set of eyes that are watching the swimming kiddies.
How Does It Work?Put simply, the buddy system divides kids up into pairs. The supervisor who is watching the children should organize periodic “buddy checks.” Ideally, there will be a check-in once every 10 minutes or so. This should keep all kids in the group aware of both themselves and their buddies. Each pair will be required to announce their location and the location of their buddy. It’s a big responsibility for a kid! Before anyone hops into the water, it is crucial that all children understand and agree to these rules. These checks are typically quick, so they shouldn’t really interfere with playtime. Typically, the kids should move to the shallow end of the pool and raise their hands when they are called upon.
Why Does the Buddy System Work?Each buddy is responsible for both his or her own safety as well as the safety of their buddy. This makes each kid feel important and adds an extra element of security to pool time. There are several ways little swimmers can help one another out:
- If one buddy is struggling in the water, the other child can quickly alert the lifeguard to the potential danger.
- Buddies should prevent each other from getting separated from the larger group or wandering off.
- If one buddy takes a break or leaves the water, even if it is just to use the bathroom, their buddy should go with them.