Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are upon us, and the weather and humidity are heating up. Children and adults are looking for a way to counteract the heat and get cool. There’s nothing better than a pool, a lake, or any body of water to provide relief and fun-filled days. Whether you are a new parent, or you have siblings vying for your attention, it’s always a good idea to review a water safety guide for parents.
First Things First
As a parent (or a friend), learn CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Although we hope you will never need to use it, know how to revive someone.
Learn to swim yourself! Seems obvious, but many adults still never learned to swim.
Children should learn to swim as soon as they are ready. Find a Red Cross or YMCA that provides lessons. Maybe take lessons together.
Stay vigilant! If you are watching your own child, several of your children, or other children, never let your attention stray. It only takes a few seconds for a child to get in trouble.
Water Safety Tips At Home
If you have a tiny kiddie pool or a large in-ground version, there are ways to protect children from drowning.
- A kiddie pool not in use should be emptied and turned upside down.
- Remove all toys or kid-attractive objects from a pool.
- Cover the in-ground pool when not being used. That includes hot tubs and spas.
- Install a tall child-proof fence around the pool. Be sure there is a gate and lock so neighbor children can’t get inside.
- Watch out for buckets of water, ice chests, ponds and fountains. A small inquisitive child can fall in head first.
Water Safety Tips Away From Home
Large recreational areas, lakes, and the beach are all opportunities to have lots of fun but also can be hazardous for children.
- Be sure everyone has a coast guard approved life jacket if you are in a boat or canoe.
- Teach your children that swimming in open water is very different than in a swimming pool.
- Be sure everyone knows how deep the water is before diving.
- Be certain at least one adult is on “child patrol duty”.
- Weak or young swimmers should have an adult swimmer within touch supervision.
- Even a child who is a strong swimmer needs to be supervised. An accident can occur which could make him quickly incapacitated.
- Teach your children to read all signs and only swim where there is a lifeguard.
Children are living in the moment and rarely think about their safety. It is left to parents and other adults to supervise and keep them safe.