My sister and I had a great time at the pool with the kids this afternoon. TallyBaby has no fear of the water and gets the biggest thrill out of jumping in to and under the water again and again and again and again.  The once timid TallyKid, has turned a corner after her swimming lessons last week, and is now officially a fish in the water.

I am so pleased with the kids progress in the pool this summer and we’re all having a blast enjoying swimming together almost every day.  Still, I try to remind myself every time we head to the pool just how important it is to keep a constant eye on the kids and to help them stay alert and aware of water safety guidelines.

While at our community pool today, my sister and I were witness to some things that did not seem totally safe, such as running and jumping in to the pool and over steps.  A few times, we were actually almost jumped on to.  In an ironic twist, one of the moms actually had her head buried in the latest issue of Parenting Magazine, while seemingly oblivious to her parenting duties.

All of this reminded me of an email we had received earlier this week from a TallyConnection reader and fellow blogger, offering to share a recent article she had posted about Water Safety Guidelines.  So, without further delay, here you go…

Summer Safety Alert: Follow Water Safety Guidelines

With the summer months here, many nannies and children will spend time in and around water.  For this reason, it’s important that parents take precautions when choosing who their children swim with.

The International Nanny Association (INA) recently released the following recommendation:

INA recommends that children are only to be taken swimming by a nanny if she is a lifeguard, if she has successfully completed a credible water safety and rescue course, or if there is a lifeguard present.

INA recommends that any child care provider who works in a home where there is a large body of water present be properly trained in water safety and rescue.

While to some the recommendation may seem overboard, the 2010 drowning death of a Long Island toddler and nanny in a swimming pool and the 2008 death of a nanny who did not know how to swim but jumped in the water to rescue her charge serve as reminders that when in and around water, it is essential that the caregiver be a strong  swimmer who is comfortable around water.

If a nanny is required or encouraged to take the children in and around water, it is important that the caregiver have the skills and confidence necessary to safely supervise the children in her care.

As an INA member, we support INA’s recommendations. In addition, we recommend that when looking for a nanny, parents:

  • Disclose if water play or swimming will be encouraged or required.
  • Ask if the nanny has lifeguard or water safety and rescue training.
  • Ask for proof of current CPR and first aid certification.
  • Ask if the nanny is comfortable around water.
  • Inquire as to the nanny’s swimming ability.
  • Require the nanny to obtain life guard certification or to take a water safety and rescue course if supervising the children in and around water will be part of her duties and responsibilities. Parents may wish to contribute to or cover the cost of this training should they require it.

The warm, summer months are ideal for playing in and around water. Before allowing your child to enjoy water activities with her caregiver, be sure she is qualified to supervise her properly and save her from drowning, should the need arise.

What are your top water safety tips?