Home Family & Relationship Stay Protected and Prepared: Expert Reveals 4 Waterpark Safety Tips for Parents

Stay Protected and Prepared: Expert Reveals 4 Waterpark Safety Tips for Parents

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With the countdown to summer on, for many families, that means a trip to a waterpark and splash in the pool. Whether travelling abroad to sunny Siam Park or staying in the UK for a more local dip, waterparks can be a fun and refreshing way to beat the heat. But there are certain precautions to take, especially for families with young children.

Attraction Tickets spoke with Ali Beckman, Puddle Ducks Technical Director and Head Teacher MCIMSPA, to reveal four essential pieces of safety advice to ensure families enjoy waterparks safely this summer. 

Follow your child’s lead

Ali advises: “Waterparks are fantastic places for introducing children to water, especially if they have beach access, as this allows children to enter the water at their own pace and to the depth they feel most comfortable with. 

“The best form of introduction to water is child-led, allowing the child to play with the water and pour it onto their body when ready. Sitting in shallow water allows children to explore, and also allows them to turn onto their tummy and crawl through the water if they are confident.”

Look out for features such as Coco Beach at Siam Park, where children can take to the water at their own pace, which is key to building confidence and independence. 

Accompany your child on the waterslides, so you can all have fun together

Waterslides can be great fun for all the family, but it is advised to do some research before heading to the waterpark as the nature of the rides and slides often mean they have various height restrictions. 

Some parks, like Aquatica in Orlando, will supply your child with coloured wristbands upon entry, meaning they can only ride slides that meet the height requirements.

Ali says: “Ensure your child is confident and happy with water splashed on their faces as this is usually unavoidable on water slides. Secondly, and where possible, ensure there are two adults – one to remain with the child at the top of the slide and the second to be waiting at the bottom.  

“Never send a child down the slide on their own; not only are they going to be entering the slide pool area independently, they then have to exit the pool and wait for an adult.”

Let your child splash and play

Many parks, including Island H2O Waterpark in Orlando, have slides and areas designed for younger children to enjoy safely, which allows them to build their confidence in the water before moving on to bigger rides. 

Ali continues: “Children learn through play and gain confidence the more time they spend around water. Don’t try to teach them how to swim – ideally, leave that for the experts, but do instil the importance of being safe around water, as this is a really important personal survival skill.  

“You can also use appropriate water toys to allow the child to play with. Sinking objects are fun as long as the child leads their exploration underwater – never force them to submerge to find a sinking toy.”

Always stay alert

The main thing to remember is never to take your eyes off your children, no matter how strong a swimmer they are. This also goes for areas designed for younger park-goers, such as The Lost City area at Siam Park; lots of slides, towers, bridges, nets and cascades can be fun but overwhelming for young ones. 

Ali adds: “Waterparks are often very busy places, and it’s easy to lose sight of a child in a split second. Wave pools should be avoided until your child is confident with water going over their faces and you know they can regain their feet independently.

“These environments can get busy, splashy and overwhelming, knocking the most confident swimmers off their feet and under the water. Most pools have a baby/toddler pool which is often a little warmer and quieter, which is a great place to start.”

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