With the official beginning of Summer being tomorrow, June 20th, this post sent to us by Carrie Dotson, of  is most appropriate.  There are many little ones splashing in pools everywhere, so it’s very important that they are properly supervised.  Here is some advice from Carrie: 

With the summer months here, many nannies and children will spend time in and around water.  For this reason, it’s important that parents take precautions when choosing who their children swim with.

International Nanny Association recently released the following recommendation:

INA recommends that children are only to be taken swimming by a nanny if she is a lifeguard, if she has successfully completed a credible water safety and rescue course, or if there is a lifeguard present.

INA recommends that any child care provider who works in a home where there is a large body of water present be properly trained in water safety and rescue.  

While to some the recommendation may seem overboard, the 2010 drowning death of a Long Island toddler and nanny in a swimming pool  and the death of a nanny who did not know how to swim but jumped in the water to rescue her charge serve as reminders that when in and around water, it is essential that the caregiver be a strong  swimmer who is comfortable around water.

If a nanny is required or encouraged to take the children in and around water, it is important that the caregiver have the skills and confidence necessary to safely supervise the children in her care.

As an INA member, we support INA’s recommendations. In addition, we recommend that when looking for a nanny, parents:

  • Disclose if water play or swimming will be encouraged or required.
  • Ask if the nanny has lifeguard or water safety and rescue training.
  • Ask for proof of current CPR and first aid certification.
  • Ask if the nanny is comfortable around water.
  • Inquire as to the nanny’s swimming ability.
  • Require the nanny to obtain life guard certification or to take a water safety and rescue course if supervising the children in and around water will be part of her duties and responsibilities. Parents may wish to contribute to or cover the cost of this training should they require it.

The warm, summer months are ideal for playing in and around water. Before allowing your child to enjoy water activities with her caregiver, be sure she is qualified to supervise her properly and save her from drowning, should the need arise.

Parents who don’t employ nannys should always be vigilant about times that their little ones are in the pool.  Public pools are very loud and active, so it’s difficult for lifeguards to see every movement.  Private pools should be fenced in order to keep children from being tempted to dive in unannounced.  Have a safe and fun summer! pb