Water is something that fascinates us all; we find it refreshing, calming, and of course, fun! While some may want to end the day by taking a relaxing bath, others choose to head near the sea to watch the waves crashing. We adults love it – and kids are no different.
Splashing around in the water can be a fantastic source of fun, relaxation, and fascination for your foster child, as well as a beautiful place to create happy memories. Let’s face it, we all remember having a great time in the bath as a kid, with the bubbles presenting a whole new world of adventure for our toys. From our early memories of days on the beach, to dipping a toe in what we saw as the unchartered, fascinating sea – it was all such a thrill!
It’s important to encourage an excellent relationship between your foster child and the water, but in doing so, we must also remember one thing: water can be dangerous, so it must always be enjoyed with safety in mind.
The good news? There are a number of things that you can do to keep your foster child safe in the water! In this blog, we’ll be covering how to keep your foster child safe at bath time, in the great outdoors, in your garden, and anywhere else nature peaks!
For now though, let’s start with where the fun and relaxation generally starts – bath time!
Make sure that when you’re getting ready for bath time, you’ve filled the bath fully with water that’s just the right temperature. Place all toys, shampoos, and anything else that you may need near the bath before putting your little one into the water.
Once you have everything you need, your foster child is ready for bath time. If your foster child is young, leaving the room is a big no-no, so make sure that you’re present to supervise. This means no popping out mid-way through. Unfortunately, drowning can occur in as little as 2 inches of water, so caution is key. The golden rule is to never leave a child unattended in the bathroom. The age at which you can start to leave a child unattended will be different for each foster child, but it will generally be around the age of 6 or 7.
Always close the bathroom door after use, put the toilet lid fully down, and consider getting a lockable toilet seat lid. There are also those pesky water puddles to think about, so consider getting a bathroom mat or two to ensure that your foster child doesn’t have any nasty accidents.
If you play your cards right, bath time can be a great time to bond with your foster child, through singing, playing, or simply even chatting.
Make sure that any caregivers, babysitters, and anyone else in the house who may care for your foster child from time to time are also aware of all the top tips in this water safety blog – consider sharing it with them.
Water Safety in the Garden
Next up on our list is water safety in the garden.
Even something as cute and small as a blow-up paddling can be dangerous without supervision, so the key here is to again, make sure that you are with your foster child throughout the duration of playtime, and empty the paddling pool immediately after use.
When outdoors with your foster child near any water that is deeper than 2 inches, make sure that you are always within arm’s reach so that you can scoop them up if it’s necessary.
If you have a pool, ensure that you put any toys away immediately after use so that your foster child is less attracted to the water. If your pool comes with a cover, great! Make sure to get that securely on, and if you can, try to fence the pool, or better still, fence it with a lockable gate.
Top Tip: Another great way to keep your foster child safe around the water is to learn/familiarise yourself with how to perform CPR.
If you have a pond, ensure that it is safely fenced off and that you are there to supervise your foster child and teach them about water safety, as rocks and slabs around ponds can be wobbly and hazardous, as well as the pond itself presenting a number of potentially sharp and uneven objects.
Kids love following pets around, so ensure that pet doors to the garden are locked, too.
Water Safety in the Great Outdoors
The final area of advice is water safety in the great outdoors.
There’s arguably no better time to let your hair down with your foster kids than when near a lake, seaside or pond. It’s great to have fun, but even better when done safely.
Swimming lessons can be a really great way to help your foster child learn about safety in the water. It’s important to never let your foster kids swim alone or without close supervision, ideally with a lifeguard on duty, as unfortunately, drowning can be quite sudden.
Accidents around lakes, the sea, and ponds oftentimes happen when kids are either unsupervised or for adolescents, if they are intoxicated. Remember to teach your foster kids about the dangers of alcohol and particularly the danger when near water. For kids over the age of 12, we know that we will not always be with them, so instilling a sense of self-care and precaution is key.
The sea can sometimes have tides and currents which can lead to an unpredictable outcome in the water. In order to combat this, ensure that you are always close by and try not to swim with your foster kids too much beyond the shoreline.
Lastly, the water is a fantastic place to build memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. Stay safe and have an amazing time with your wonderful foster child!