Remember water safety this summer

Published 1:11 pm Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer is here and water sports are popular this time of year. On the weekends kids enjoy playing together outside in the sprinklers of their own backyards. Teenagers spend time on the lake and at the beach riding boats, Ski-Doos and water skiing. Children spend a lot of time with friends swimming in the pools and fishing.

Although water sports are some of the most enjoyable activities children look forward to the summer time, it is important for parents to remember the significance of informing themselves and their children of water safety.

When at the lake, children need to wear life vests. Even kids who know how to swim may tire easily on a hot day and not be in shallow waters.

“I can’t take my eyes off him. You just can’t trust dark water,” Paige Gobel said about her son Colton being at the lake or ocean.

It is important for families to learn to swim and be comfortable in the water.

Kids and parents can take swim classes as groups or one-on-one at places like the YMCA, and Sports First. Classes can focus training to all age ranges, even through senior adults. The YMCA, and Brookwood Hospital even offer classes that parents can bring infants and babies to, which helps them establish an early adaption for the water.

Parents feel much more comfortable when their children don’t have a fear of the water.

Risky behavior like diving in shallow water, competing by breath holding and horseplay should not be approved.

It is also good to remember that air-inflated toys like the water wings are not reliable for children who cannot swim on their own because they can pop. A good alternative are things made of foam, like the noodles and most life vests.

As you have fun outside in the sun this summer also be sure to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays, by applying sunscreen lotion. Aloe vera oils and lotions do ease the pain if you do get sunburned though.

“We love the water, but we try to think about safety first. There can’t be a lifeguard at every body of water, so as parents it’s up to us to keep our kids safe,” Gobel said.

Kennedy Tolbert can be reached at