The holiday season is a time of joy and gathering together, but it is also a crucial time to reinforce the importance of water safety. With festivities often taking place near pools, beaches, or lakes, it is essential to stay vigilant about water safety. Here are four effective and helpful ways to keep water safety in mind during your holiday planning and celebrations.
Swimming lessons are most beneficial when done year-round. Having everyone in your family know how to swim can help everyone feel more comfortable around the water. Swimming lessons are not just for kids; they are essential for adults too who are not confident swimmers. During the holidays, you may consider giving swimming lessons as a gift.
This thoughtful gift not only can provide a life-saving skill, but can be a fun activity. Many local facilities and community centers, YMCAs, swim schools, and private instructors offer gift certificates for swimming lessons. This makes it a convenient and potentially life-saving holiday present.
Gifting Water Safety Resources
Beyond swimming lessons, there are numerous water safety resources that make great gifts. Books on water safety are an excellent resource for both children and adults. They provide valuable information in an accessible format. You can find some great books we recommend on our website.
Other gift ideas include alarms for the fencing around the pool, life jackets, and first-aid kits. These gifts show your loved ones that you care about them and their safety and well-being. All of these gifts help to prompt a culture of water safety awareness.
The holiday season is also a time for giving and supporting causes that help to save lives. Consider making a donation to organizations that focus on drowning prevention and water safety. There are many organizations both on the national and local level. These donations help to fund crucial programs and resources. These can include offering swimming lessons at a discounted rate for those in need, public education programs and campaigns, and the overall development of safer swimming environments.
Donations can be made in your name or as a gift in the name of a loved one. Regardless of how you are able to support these incredible organizations, you are making a meaningful contribution to a vital cause. You can support the work NDPA is doing here.
Using the 5 Layers of Protection Over the Holidays
The 5 layers of protection are important to help prevent drowning. These layers are especially necessary during holiday gatherings when distractions are abundant. Here are the layers and some ways to implement them:
- Barriers & Alarms – Ensure that pools have a four-sided fence with self-closing and self-latching gates. Alarms on doors leading to the pool area can add an additional layer of protection.
- Supervision – Always have a designated water watcher. This person needs to be close, competent, and capable to help if needed. This person also cannot be distracted by other activities, like using a phone or participating in holiday festivities.
- Water Competency – As mentioned above, ensure everyone in the family knows how to swim and understands basic water safety rules.
- Life Jackets – Particularly in open water settings or for non-swimmers, life jackets are a must. Even skilled swimmers can benefit from wearing a life jacket in any challenging conditions. Be sure you can clearly read the U.S. Coast Guard Approved stamp before wearing any life jacket.
- Emergency Preparation – Know how to respond in a water emergency. This includes knowing how to perform CPR. Even hands-only CPR can help to save a life. Have a phone nearby to call for help and know the exact address of where you are.
Water safety is a year-round commitment, and the holidays offer a unique opportunity to reinforce its importance. By gifting swimming lessons, sharing water safety resources, making charitable donations, and implementing the 5 layers of protection, you can play a vital role in keeping your family, friends, and guests safer over the holidays. Make this holiday season not only merry and bright, but also safe and secure for everyone. Remember, a few simple actions can make a huge difference in keeping everyone safer around the water.