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Questionnaire: Do Your Kids Know Basic Water Safety?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 16 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Kids Children Water Safety Safe Holidays

Teaching kids basic water safety is an important part of keeping them safe at home and abroad. On holidays in particular kids are likely to be around larger bodies of water (pools, oceans, lakes) so water safety becomes an important part of everyone staying safe and happy.

To help you assess your kids' water safety knowledge we have put together the following questionnaire. Answer each question, then total your answers and match the number of "yes" answers to the explanations at the end to help determine how well your kids know basic water safety.

  1. Do your kids know not to swim without an adult present?
  2. Do your kids know not to play near water without an adult present?
  3. Do your kids know how to swim?
  4. Do your kids know to walk and not run near water?
  5. Do your kids know not to swim in bad weather?
  6. Do your kids understand that they can not breath under water?
  7. Do your kids know not to push anyone into water?
  8. Do your kids know to always swim with a buddy, if possible?
  9. Do your kids know their own swimming limitations?
  10. Do your kids know never to dive into water they don't know?
  11. Do your kids know to follow all signs posted near swimming areas?
  12. Do your kids know never to play with or near water in their own home?

Do Your Kids Know Basic Water Safety?

If you answered "yes" to between zero and four questions then your kids do not know much about basic water safety. Even if your children are very young you must take the time to impress upon them that water can be fun, but it can also be dangerous. Make sure your children learn to swim, and impress upon them the importance of proper behaviour in and around water. Discuss the different privileges children will receive as they grow and become stronger swimmers, and consider formal swimming lessons, water safety or first aid courses if you believe that they need to hear this information from someone other than you. Local leisure centres, the Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance may all offer appropriate courses depending upon the age of your children.

If you answered "yes" to between five and eight questions then your kids know a bit about basic water safety. They likely understand that water can be dangerous, but even kids with a healthy respect for water can get overexcited and careless when they are on holidays. If possible, take your children swimming regularly throughout the year so that water safety becomes routine rather than a yearly test when your family travels. Re-check your children's water safety knowledge at regular intervals, and discipline your children each time you find them behaving in an unsafe manner in or around water so that they understand that improper behaviour will carry consequences.

If you answered "yes" to nine or more questions then your kids know a good amount of basic water safety. Unfortunately, knowing water safety and practicing water safety can be two different things so observe your children as they play in and around water. Discuss with them what they did well, and what they need to remember the next time they swim. No matter how confident you are in your kids' water safety, nor how well they have behaved in the past, agree with them on the disciplinary actions you will take if you find them breaking water safety rules. As your kids grow, regularly check their swimming abilities in order to better assess where and how they should be swimming. If your children don't continue to progress, consider formal swimming lessons to help them on their ways.

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