The living may be easy in the summertime, but the weather often isn't! During this steamiest of seasons, when the playground seats are hot and the sidewalks are toe-scorching, it's easy to understand why children run to the nearest air-conditioned place in front of the television or video games. But inside the house is no way to spend a summer vacation—especially when water is an excellent source for cooling off and is so easy and accessible!
Whether you have a swimming pool, wading pool, or just the garden hose, your kids can spend hours of fun and beat the heat this summer.
When you decide to get wet, be sure to stay safe and avoid unnecessary accidents and drowning. Follow these safety rules whenever children are near water:
- Do not consider young children "drown proof" because they have had swimming lessons. They should always be watched carefully while swimming.
- Do not use floatation devices as a substitute for supervision.
- Have a telephone at poolside to avoid having to leave children unattended in or near the pool.
- During social gatherings, appoint a "designated watcher" to protect young children from pool accidents. Adults can take turns being the "watcher."
Splish-Splash! Baby's Kicking Like a Fish: Babies and Toddlers
Why exclude your little one from having fun in the water? Just set up his or her own special wading pool and let your youngster enjoy this cool, refreshing experience. For the younger baby, it's necessary to place him in a reclining baby seat that is waterproof and set this in a pool with four to five inches of water. Let him kick and splash with delight.
A toddler can sit up on his own and is more interested in the pool toys. He can discover firsthand how objects behave in water. Besides the usual bath toys, give him a sponge (to absorb water) and a sieve (to let the water rain through), and draw happy faces on Ping-Pong balls—they float! For a special treat, surround your baby in bubbles by adding no-tears formula baby bubble bath to the water. Protect your child's delicate skin by shading his pool area with a beach umbrella and be sure to use sunscreen. Wide-brimmed hats and clothing help from over exposure to the hot summer sun.
As you and your baby play in the pool, sing and dramatize this fun water song together, sung to the tune of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider":
I like to splash the water in my swimming pool,
I splash it on my face and wet my pretty hair.
Water through my fingers and water on my toes.
I like to splash the water, even on my nose!