The weather is starting to warm up, and there is no better way to beat the heat and humidity than cooling off in some water. Unfortunately, water also poses a danger to children, so parents and caregivers must take extra steps to ensure safety. The most important thing to remember is there is no substitute for adult supervision. Whenever there is water accessible, make sure children stay in eyesight. That, along with these tips, will ensure a safe, fun summer.
- Require children to wear a coast guard approved life jacket when around water, whether it be a pool, a lake, or even a hot tub. Make sure if fits snugly, and that children under five-years-old wear one that has a strap between the legs.
- Pools that are not permanent, or semi-permanent structures (not emptied daily) should have a 4 foot fence around it with a self-closing, self-latching gate.
- Cover hot tubs with a safety cover whenever not in use.
- Use a water alarm for pools and hot tubs in case a child accidentally gains access to the water.
- Empty all other sources of water as soon as you are done with them, including wading pools, buckets, watering cans, and rain barrels. A small child can get stuck in one and drown in only two inches of water.
- Be aware of other water sources that might be a hazard including ditches and fish ponds.
- Swim with young children at lakes and ponds because the ground can drop off unexpectedly, and weeds can tangle up their legs.
- Swimming in the ocean is exciting, but the waves can behave unexpectedly, knocking a child over. Undercurrents also pose a hazard for all swimmers.
- Currents in rivers are often moving faster than they appear. Do not swim in rivers except for in designated areas with a life guard present.
- Sign all children up for swimming lessons. Even when children can swim independently, they should be supervised at all times, but the ability to swim will help keep children out of harmful situations.
According to the CDC, over 3500 people drown in the United States each year, and one out of every five of those is a child under 14-years-old. Make this a summer to remember, but not for the wrong reasons. Use these tips and supervise children around any water to keep them safe. For more information, contact us.