Saturday, September 15, 2012

take me to the river

well, summer was over.

then we decided that (courtesy of this great weather we've been having) one more water play day was a must.

the kids had a great time exploring the rocks, splashing in the water, and eating the wild blackberries growing nearby.

however, this particular late summer excursion turned out to be more than just fun and games.

near the end of the afternoon, two of the kiddos in our group were swept downstream by the current. their mother heroically came to their rescue, and all three made it back to shore, though not without some serious stress, very cold water, and exhaustion from the difficulty crossing through said river current to safety.

we are so glad no one was seriously injured or worse, and this experience prompted more thorough research on my part concerning water safety.

here are a few tips specific to wild swimming:

first of all, one can never overuse the life jacket (what about bob?, anyone?)

also, explore the water before allowing children to swim. you need to know how slippery the rocks are and how strong the current may be or if there are any deep drops. after testing the water, mark off the area where it is safest for them to swim and play. i am a notorious water-hater (basking in the sun on the shore is much more my thang), but i will now make it a point to do some brief water-safety recon and then bask in the sun on the shore.

if a child (or adult, for that matter) gets caught in a river current, they need to float on their backs with the current, feet down stream, and try to grab on to something to stop. more experienced swimmers can try to swim out of the current by swimming perpendicular to it, but do NOT swim against the current, you will become exhausted and gulp down way too much water.

instruct, model, and practice what to do with your children before allowing them to enter the water.

more basic safety guidelines here.

now, who's ready for fall?!

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