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Whether you're taking your toddler to the pool for his first swim outing, or your embarrassed-to-be-seen-with-my-mom pre-teen, these safety tips should be instilled at the beginning of each swim season.

1) Never leave small children unattended in a pool. Even if there is a lifeguard nearby, an accident can happen in seconds. Even in infant/wading pools, an adult should always be present.

2) Teach children to swim at an early age. This does not mean you should ever leave children unattended. But teaching children in younger years emphasizes their natural swimmer's instinct, and reduces the risk of fear setting in.

3) Teach older children to never swim alone. Instead, have them incorporate a 'buddy system' where they always swim with friends.

4) Teach your kids to swim safely. Running, rough-housing, and pushing another individual underwater are all potential hazards.

5) Set a good example. Practice swimming safely yourself. Children imitate.

6)Take CPR. This is usually offered as an afternoon class at your local hospital or college, for a minimal fee.

7)Remember, even if your kids are well trained in the water, that doesn't mean everyone else's children are. Teach your children to stand up for themselves by walking away, if another child is playing too rough.