Summer will soon be here, so this means having plenty of fun with your child around pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches. These water sources offer fun, cool relief from hot weather; but the water can also be dangerous if kids don’t take proper precautions to keep themselves safe. Nearly 1000 kids die every year from drowning – a shocking, unsettling statistic. Even more shocking, is that these kids drowned in home swimming pools. There are loads of ways you can keep your kids safe in water and make sure they take the same precautions when they’re on their own – here are some essential tips:
Keeping Your Child Safe Around Water
Children need constant supervision around water, whether this is in a bathtub, wading pool, ornamental fish pond, spa, beach, lake, or another body of water. Young children are the most vulnerable, as they can drown in less than 2 inches of water. That means that drowning can happen when you least expect it – the sink, toilet, fountains, buckets, pools, or other small bodies of water around the home. Always watch children closely when they’re near any body of water at all.
Kids older than 4 should learn to swim, so if you can’t already you should both learn. There should be classes in your area, so have a look online and read tips on SplashAbout.com.
You should never assume that just because your child can swim they are immune from drowning. Every child needs to be supervised in the water, no matter their swimming skill level. Infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers should always have an adult swimmer within arms reach for touch supervision.
Proper fitting flotation devices can help, however; people do recommend you avoid using these as children can become too dependent on them. You should still bear in mind that if your child uses floatation devices like inflatable vests and arm devices they won’t be effectively protected against drowning.
The temperature of the water is very important too. Enter the water slowly to make sure that both you and your child feel comfortable. Babies and younger children are more comfortable when the water is on the warmer side (but definitely not too hot, as they have sensitive skin and can burn more easily than adults). If your child is shivering or experiences any muscle cramps, you should remove them from the water straight away.
Find out where any water hazards in your street or home are. Does anybody have a pool, pond, or water spa? Where are any ponds that can attract kids? Ask neighbors who have things like this in their gardens to keep their gates locked.
Drowning is disastrous, and the worst thing about it is that it’s totally avoidable. Teach your child water safety as soon as they can understand, and always supervise them around any body of water. Never assume they’re safe just because they appear so – that’s how accidents happen. Keeping your child safe around water will ensure no nasty accidents occur!