Spring will soon transition into summer, bringing summer vacation and the perfect opportunity for time in the pool, lake, or ocean. Water play often provides some of kids’ best summer memories, but the water can be dangerous, too. According to the CDC, about one in five drowning victims are children age 14 and younger, and children from ages one to four are at the greatest risk. This guide will help you learn tips to keep your kids safe from drowning and other aquatic dangers.
Keep Your Pool Safe
Never allow your children to swim or play in the pool unsupervised, and always keep your eyes on them while swimming. Turning your back to answer a quick phone call gives a child enough time to drown. Install pool alarms. Make sure your pool’s fence or gate latches are too high for young children to reach.
Strength in Numbers
Never allow any minor, even a teen, to swim alone. Everyone should always swim with a buddy and wear proper safety equipment. Floaties and water wings won’t cut it – ensure everyone has a life jacket, particularly if you’re going boating or will be in a lake or ocean. Enroll your children in Red Cross or other accredited swimming classes as soon as they are old enough, and make sure they stick with the group during lessons or aquatic outings.
No Funny Stuff
Many children like to show off their swimming abilities or horse around in the pool. While this is meant to be fun, it can lead to dangerous situations. Set rules so that everyone swims according to his or her ability, for example, no beginner swimmers in the pool’s deep end. Do not allow breath-holding contests or intense physical games, especially around novice swimmers. No one should play around suction areas or drains. Encourage girls to keep their hair up in the pool, as long hair can get accidentally caught in the drain.
Keep Everyone Hydrated and Sun Safe
Exposed skin is an open invitation to sunburn, heat rash, and other skin problems. Make sure everyone is wearing waterproof sunscreen with high SPF and UV ray protection before entering the pool. Anyone with extremely fair or sensitive skin should cover up as much as possible – girls should wear one-piece suits and boys should wear T-shirts or exercise shirts. Reapply sunscreen at least every half hour. Supply plenty of drinks and encourage everyone to take frequent breaks to rehydrate. Discourage swimming during the hottest hours of the day, around 10 AM to 12 PM.
Following these tips will help you have a safe and fun time this year at pool!