As holidays are just around the corner Turtle Tots Ireland want to make sure that you and your family
have a safe and happy time wherever you are taking a dip this summer. We feel it is our job to teach
everyone about summer water safety – whether in class, in the pool or at the beach is our top priority. Our
teachers are passionate about teaching water safety and lifesaving skills.
The most effective water safety skill we can teach our children is to learn to swim. Many adults in
Ireland have a fear of the water and by taking your child from an early age to regular swimming
lessons you are introducing them to a positive and safe experience in this new environment.
Turtle Tots classes are designed with safety in mind from the very first lesson and the theme of
safety is carried throughout the programme.
In our classes we teach kids how to safely enter and exit a pool, and for everyone it’s important to
spend time showing kids how to do this. They can use the steps if there are some, they can sit at the
side of the pool and turn onto their bellies and wiggle into the water while holding onto the edge, or
they can reach out and come into their carers arms. But again they need to know that they can only
enter the water if there is someone there with them – who is already in before them and is aware
that they are coming in.
Surroundings & Awareness
Statistically, most accidental drownings on holidays happen within the first hour because families are
unfamiliar with the pool/sea and are usually distracted with their new surroundings.
Responsibility for safety lies with the adult. Treat any body of water in the same way as you would a
busy main road and never leave your child unattended, not even for a second.
Children don’t understand the dangers associated with water, so it is very important that you explain
to your child the necessary rules in order to keep safe whilst around water.
The first steps to take when we want to teach kids about water safety, is that they should never enter
the water without an adult. This must be an agreed rule between you and your child with no
At the pool
Walk don’t run near or around the pool, explaining that it’s bound to be wet and slippy and
accidents can very easily happen – or worst of all you could fall into the water without anyone noticing.
See our handy checklist for staying safe at the pool below:
- Look to see if there is a lifeguard on duty.
- Look for the pool rules – they will be pinned to the wall, possibly near the lifeguard station (if there is one).
- Is it slippy around the pool?
- Know where the deep end and the shallow end of the pool is.
- Check the water temperature? A lot of pools abroad are colder than they are here in Ireland so make sure you pack your baby’s warmsuit or swim wrap to keep their core temperature stable.
- If your child is using flotation devices, never take your eyes of them as sometimes they can tip over with your child inside.
- Always stay within an arm’s length of your child.
At the beach
Swimming in the sea comes with different considerations so before anyone steps their feet into those
beautiful waters here are some helpful tips for staying safe at the beach:
- Check to see if there is a lifeguard on duty.
- Look for information or signage that tells you about high tide times, rip tides and currents.
- Don’t swim where there is a red flag and only swim between the designated flags.
- Stay within your depth.
- Never swim near rocks, piers or corals.
- Do not use inflatables in open water as they can float away with currents and tides.
- Always stay within your depth and swim parallel to the shoreline instead of out to sea.
Paddling pools are great to use in the garden to have lots of fun with your little ones when the
temperature starts to rise But be vigilant around your child at all times even if there is just a few
inches of water in it. Make sure you empty out the water by tipping the paddling pool over once you are
finished with it.
Remember – once everyone is being safe and sticking to the rules, water can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Wishing you all lots of splashy fun and great memories as you enjoy the water together this summer.
About the expert: Turtle Tots Ireland are a child-centred swim school, specialising in swimming lessons for babies and toddlers. Turtle Tots are passionate about teaching water safety and lifesaving skills at a pace that is right for each child. Visit their website here to find swimming lessons in your area: https://www.turtletots.ie/
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