During hot weather and summer vacation, swimming is a low-cost and great way to enjoy the days beating the heat. What people don’t realize is that the possibility of drowning is all around us; it actually only takes one inch of water to drown. Unfortunately, drowning is the second highest cause of accidental death in children under 14, taking the lives of over 1,000 every year. Here are some steps to help ensure your child’s safety around the water.
Keeping Kids Safe in the Water
1. Swimming lessons – The most important step for safety in the water is knowing how to swim. Enroll your children in swimming lessons when you feel they are ready. This will allow them to learn how to swim properly, as well as teach them the dos and don’ts of swimming. Also, if they know how to swim, you aren’t completely off the hook, but it helps you feel more relaxed about having your children in the water.
2. Supervision – Supervision is key to water safety, because all it takes is one second for something bad to happen. Try to keep your eye on them at all times and be ready to act when necessary. If possible, have more than one adult, or well-trained swimmer, supervising, or even better, swim at a location with trained lifeguards.
3. Wear sunscreen – Everyone loves to be outside in the summer, but UV rays can be very harmful to the skin and eyes. Being in the water automatically makes one more likely to become sunburned due to the sun’s reflection on the water. Even if it is a cloudy day, make sure to apply sunscreen.
4. Lifejackets – Life jackets are important for very young swimmers to wear, especially in larger bodies of water. Even if you do know how to swim, if you are jet skiing, tubing, or wakeboarding, it’s still important to wear a lifejacket. Remember not to rely on life jackets and floatation devices; they are just there to help with floating, not guarantee it.
5. Learn CPR – As a parent, it is always good to be prepared in case of an emergency. When it comes to having a pool or taking your kids swimming, knowing CPR is a good tool to have. Especially for times when there is no lifeguard around, knowing CPR could save a child’s life.
6. Fence In Your Pool – If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure to have fencing around it. This helps prevent young children from trying to swim when no one is watching.
7. Walk Please – Running around the pool area can be very dangerous. Most times the surface around the pool is wet and can be very slippery. All it takes is one second to slip, fall, and get seriously injured or drown.
8. Avoid Cold Water – If the water is too cold, it could cause the body to go into shock. It is important to check the temperature of your pool before letting others go for a swim.
9. Have a Phone Nearby – If an emergency does occur, 911 may need to be called. Make sure to have a phone nearby and visible at all times to be able to make that call and not have to waste time searching for a phone.