This is shocking but according to the CDC, drowning is the number two cause of accidental deaths in children, age 15 and under. Of the estimated children who will die from drowning, many of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult! That is so scary and that is why it is so important to review water safety tips for parents and kids at least once a year.
Water Safety Tips For Parents To Help Prevent Drowning
Designate a responsible adult to watch young children while in the bath and all children swimming or playing in or around water. Supervisors of preschool children should provide “touch supervision”, as in be close enough to reach the child at all times. Adults should not be involved in any other distracting activity (such as reading, playing cards, talking on the phone, or mowing the lawn) while supervising children.
Always swim with a buddy. Select swimming sites that have lifeguards whenever possible. Parents don’t rely on the buddy system but is a good idea to have this extra layer of security for older children that sometimes get further away.
Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating, or water skiing. Do not drink alcohol while supervising children as it can impair your judgement and reaction times.
TEACH CHILDREN TO SWIM
Formal swimming lessons can protect young children from drowning. However, constant, careful supervision and barriers such as pool fencing are necessary even when children have completed swimming classes. Teaching children to swim is easier when you start young but learning to swim is something everyone can do. Learning to swim is an invaluable life skill. You can teach your child yourself, get swim classes at local places like the YMCA, or even get private at home swimming lessons– whatever works for you and your child.
In the time it might take for paramedics to arrive, your CPR skills could make a difference in someone’s life. CPR performed by bystanders has been shown to improve outcomes in drowning victims. Classes are offered by the American Red Cross.
DO NOT RELY ON AIR-FILLED OR FOAM TOYS
Do not use air-filled or foam toys, such as “water wings”, “noodles”, or inner-tubes, in place of life jackets (personal flotation devices). These toys are not designed to keep children safe.
POOL DRAIN SAFETY
Teach your children to stay away from pool drains. Don’t allow children to wear dangly necklaces or wear their hair long and loose in or around the pool, to prevent getting entangled in a drain.
Don’t leave toys in the pool or baby pool when they’re not in use. You don’t want to give kids any reason to try to get a toy behind the fence. On that note, make sure talk to children and let them know it is only safe to swim when supervised by a parent.
POOL FENCE SAFETY
Pools should be kept behind a gated fence to ensure child safety. If you have a small child’s pool, be sure to empty the wading pool when it’s not in use and store it upside down.
I hope you found these water safety rules useful for a quick review. I personally have know a friend and an uncle who had accidental drownings in their family. It is heart breaking. According to Seattle Children’s Hospital, “Most drowning occurs quickly and without much noise.” Be safe and remember to take water safety seriously.