You can enjoy a fun and safe day in the water with these water safety tips for individuals with special needs

Children and adults alike have a natural attraction to the water. On hot summer days, an afternoon at the local community pool, water park, or in your backyard is always a fun way to stay cool. In our local area, trips to the Jersey shore or our beloved Lake Hopatcong are common. For caretakers of individuals with special needs, though, the idea of a relaxing day by a body of water can be anything but relaxing! The safety of all must be accounted for, and vigilance is needed. But with a little planning and proper precautions, special needs adults and children – and their caretakers, really can enjoy a great time making a splash in the water. Here are a few tips from our team at SMILE!

Pack a Life Vest or other Personal Flotation Device (PFD)

Life vests or PFD’s create an added sense of security for the special needs adult or child you are looking after. If you are headed to a water park, most require a life jacket for any children 4 years old or younger. Special Needs Life Jackets are available in a variety of makes and models to best fit what your unique requirements. Be sure to pay close attention to proper fit and appropriate flotation ability for the device, such as maximum weights.

Know CPR

Being prepared in the event of an emergency is always ideal. Learning CPR has the added benefit of understanding the possible warning signs of someone in trouble. Clinics are available in most areas to learn CPR, the proper technique and mechanics to open the air of the person in need. Learn CPR as soon as possible to ensure possible accidents can be avoided.

Install a Motion Detector System

If you have a pool or hot tub in your backyard, installing a motion detector system can provide an important extra set of eyes for you. Motion detection systems can be set up with lights or sound alerts to quickly inform you of a possibly dangerous situation. You can purchase a detection system from anywhere between $30 – $400 depending on how sophisticated a system you would like.

Spending a hot summer day by the water is a quintessential summer activity. Taking care of special needs adults and children by the water have added complications that can be remedied with a these few simple tips. Remember these safety tips the next time you spend a day in the water, but most important of all, have fun.