It is very important to be able to swim, and it is equally important to be concerned about your children’s safety.

Water can be extremely dangerous as drowning is the main cause of child accidental death in the US. Therefore your kids should always be on their guard when swimming in swimming pools, lakes and the ocean.

Teach them that entering the water is a serious business. Establish a routine to go through before entering the pool. Applying sunscreen, putting on a diaper (for smaller kids), a pair of swimming trunks or swimsuit and doing some gentle exercise will prevent your children from thinking that jumping in the pool any time they want is acceptable.

It is the parent who decides when kids can enter the pool. Use a special phrase to cue kids that they are allowed to enter water and always stop them if they try to take a swim without your consent. This will create one more psychological barrier to your children swimming without your knowing.

Teach your kids not to be afraid to open their eyes under the water. This may be useful if they unexpectedly fall in the water and cannot find the sides of the pool.

Never use such treacherous things as water wings or flotation devices. They lull both your kid and you into a false sense of security: if there are any problems with such devices your child might get into a panic and stop acting reasonably. Children should be taught to quickly find the location of the nearest ladders, steps and pool walls to be able to reach them fast if they suddenly feel bad.

Control your fears. Sure, you have to be cautious, but do not let unmotivated worries stand in the way of your kids’ learning how to swim.

Enjoy your time in the swimming pool!