6 Swim-Safety Tips All Parents Should Know

Time to hit the pool! Make sure you keep your little ones safe -- memorize the following essential swim-smart tips from Safe Kids USA.

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Eyes & Attention

Never turn your back on a child while she's in the water -- not even for a moment.

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Lifeguards Are Your Best Friend

Swim only when a lifeguard is on duty, but continue to keep your eyes on your child. Lifeguards must monitor many little swimmers at once; don't assume they'll always be watching yours.

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Kaysh Shinn

Arms Reach

Keep a hand on babies and toddlers at all times while in the pool. Even strong swimmers under 5 should always be within arm's reach of an adult.

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No Dunking Allowed!

Never dunk a child under 3 -- little kids can swallow large amounts of water, which could be dangerous. Moreover, the experience might actually increase your little one's fear of swimming.

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Teach Safety Basics

Teach your child the safety basics by the time he's a toddler. This should include rules like not running near the pool and never going in or near the water without an adult, as well as how to reach for a pole or a line that's thrown to him if he's ever struggling in the water.

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Learn CPR

Learn to perform CPR on a child. Take a class through your local YMCA or American Red Cross chapter.

Originally published in the June 2010 issue of Parents magazine.

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