For cooling off on a hot summer day, not much can beat a dip in a refreshing pool of water. But when you’re with children it’s important to be aware of safety whenever you spend time around water. Drowning is the leading cause of preventable injury deaths for children ages 1-4. And older kids, even those that know how to swim, can also be at risk. Keep these 8 water safety tips in mind so your kids can enjoy the water safely this summer.
8 Water Safety Tips for Kids
1. Supervise Kids In or Near Water
When spending time in or near water with kids you need to be watching them at all times. For any age kids, there needs to be adult supervision at all times and it needs to be free of distractions. Designate at least one adult at a time to be watching the kids. Not chatting, not texting, not scrolling through Facebook. Just watching the kids.
2. Keep Young Children Within an Arm's Reach
Children under four need to be within an arm’s reach of an adult at all times.
3. Learn CPR and Water Rescue
As a parent, learning CPR is so important, especially the different methods for treating an infant or young child. You may save a child’s life with what you learn.
4. Swim in Designated Swimming Areas
Whenever possible kids should swim in designated swimming areas supervised by lifeguards in addition to their parents or other trusted adult.
5. Enroll Children in Age Appropriate Swimming Lessons
Check out the red cross website for lessons near you: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/swimming
6. Use Life Jackets
Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear Coast Guard approved life jackets near water. Everyone should wear life jackets in a boat or watercraft.
7. Prevent Unsupervised Access to Water
If you have a pool, install a locked gate. Remove access ladders and always use a cover when an outdoor above ground pool is not in use. Always empty bath tubs, buckets of water, or pools a young child might have access to.
8. Use the Buddy System
Never let any member of your family swim alone. This includes older children who know how to swim. Have older children buddy up and explain each child is responsible for knowing where their buddy is at all times. This is not a replacement for adult supervision, only a supplement. And do not put an older child in charge of a younger one in or around water. Water requires adult supervision.