Hylton I Lightman MD DCH (SA) FAAP

Summer time equals water. Water is fun. It also means following the rules. Swim only where it is clearly marked and a lifeguard is on duty. This includes pools, lakes and oceans. Hopefully, your child’s camp has a strong swim program. Investing in swimming lessons is a fabulous way to empower children.

A lifeguard should always be present in a public pool or beach. No one should ever use a pool unsupervised. If a child is older and knows how to swim, it’s still best practice that another person is present, in case of accident or anything.

Speaking of water, a win-win summer entails encouraging your children to hydrate at every opportunity with water. Children are at greater risk for dehydrating because their bodies do not cool down as efficiently as adults.

  • Make sure your child has access to cool drinking water at all times.
  • Speak with them about scheduling hydration breaks. Before prolonged physical activity, a child should be well-hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced: For example, each 20 minutes, 5 oz of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 90 lbs, and 9 oz for an adolescent weighing 130 lbs. This holds true even if the child does not feel thirsty.
  • Sugary drinks are not recommended as they can aggravate dehydration. Sorry kids, my own grandchildren included.

Swimming pools, both public and private must be fenced off without easy access. There should be some kind of pool covering in private pools.

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