Summer is right around the corner and lots of families will be taking trips to their local pools and beaches. Now is a great time to learn tips and tricks to keep your little ones safe around water. Drowning continues to be the second leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 19, toddlers and teenage boys are at greatest risk.
Of course children need to learn how to swim, however even advanced swimming skills cannot ‘drown-proof’ a child of any age. Parents must also closely supervise their children around water and know how to perform CPR. If you cannot afford to give your kids swimming lessons like a lot of families then follow these safety tips for when your children are around water.
Hard Facts about Swimming Safety
- Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old.
- Children 1 – 4 years old are more likely to drown in a pool.
- Children 5 years and older are more likely to drown in natural water, such as ponds, lakes and rivers.
- The risk of drowning in open water increases with age: The average 10-year-old, for example, is three times more likely to drown in open water than in a pool.
Top Tips about Swimming Safety
- Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.
- Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water when deciding if they are ready for swim lessons.
- Make sure kids learn these five water survival skills and that they are able to:
- step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface;
- float or tread water for one minute;
- turn around in a full circle and find an exit;
- swim 25 yards to exit the water; and
- exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder
- Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.
- Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.
WATER SAFETY AT HOME
Whether you’re bathing your baby in the sink or splashing around with your toddler in the bathtub, water is great fun for kids. But it’s also a place where safety must come first, so here are a few tips for kids who love to get wet.
The Hard Facts
Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old. Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in the bathroom or a bucket.
- Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult.
- Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and kiddie pools immediately after use. Store them upside down so they don’t collect water.
- Close toilet lids and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
- Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
- Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a life.
Here you’ll find everything you need to know about boating safety. With almost 100 different kinds of boats – from kayaks to canoes to motorboats – there’s a good chance most of us will be having a great time on the water at some point. So when you do, please remember these simple safety tips for the entire family.
The Hard Facts
In 2013, 77 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
- Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
- A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.
- Infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.
- We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.
- Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.