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 important tips for water safety for kids to help ensure your child’s safety around the water.
9 Tips for Water Safety for Kids
1. Swimming lessons – Ready, set, go! The most important step for water safety is knowing how to swim. Kenny recommends that you enroll your children in swimming lessons as soon as you can, not necessarily when you feel they are ready. Getting your child accustomed to the water early, even at four months old, will help them to develop a healthy relationship with the water. They will learn how to swim properly and we will teach them the dos and don’ts of swimming. Please remember, even if they know how to swim, you are not off the hook, but you will feel more relaxed about having your children near or in the water.
2. Supervision – Supervision is key to water safety for kids, because all it takes is less than one second for something bad to happen. Keep your eye on your child 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. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. This is the reason people often end up with serious sun burns on overcast days if they have spent time outside with no sun protection.
4. Lifejackets – Life jackets are important for kids 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 slip, trip or fall, and someone could be 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. For infants, we recommend the water temperature to be maintiained at 88-90 degrees. For children 3 and up, we recommend 86 degress. For adults lap swimming, 78-82 is the usual temperature.
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.
Remember, swimming is the most popular summer activity. The best thing you can do to help your kids practice water safety is to enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons.