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Tips for Safe Water Play

tips-for-save-water-play Summer is a great time to get outside and cool off in the water, but if you have children then water safety should be on your mind. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old. And it’s the third leading cause of death among children.” How can you keep your children safe around water?

1. Supervision

Watching children around water seems like a no brainer, but constant supervision is easier said than done. Cell phones, talking to friends, bathroom breaks and so on all give parents and caregivers opportunities to take their eyes off of their children long enough to cause problems. Do not trust shallow water either, as small children and babies can drown in as little as one inch of water. If there is more than one adult present, make sure you know who is responsible for watching the children. Lifeguards are a great asset, but do not depend on them to watch your kids. They have a whole pool full of kids to watch! If you have a pool or other body of water near your home, make sure there is no danger of children accessing it without supervision. Gates and pool covers help prevent this danger.

2. Buddy System

Another great way to make sure kids are safe around water is to use a buddy system. Have inexperienced swimmers stay with an adult or experienced swimmer at all times. No one should ever swim alone as cramps, entanglements and other dangers can take down even the best swimmers. According to the Red Cross you should “Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.”

3. Life Jackets

Safe Kids Worldwide recommends having, “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.” In fact, they mention the statistic that “In 2011, 70 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. “

4. Swimming Classes

According to the Red Cross, “the best thing you can do to help your family stay safe is to enroll in age-appropriate swim lessons.” Teaching children to be strong swimmers can help prevent some accidents, but swimming lessons also teach important ideas like: taking breaks to prevent overtiredness, preventing hypothermia, proper breathing, and how to react calmly to incidents in water.

5. CPR Training

Another way you can have peace of mind around water is by learning CPR. Many local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training for little or no cost. Learning what to do in case the worst should happen is a great way to be prepared.

Playing in and around water is a great way to spend the hot summer months. However, you should remember that children need to be constantly supervised, no matter how responsible they seem. You should take the proper precautions when playing in or near water to ensure your child’s safety.


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