Water Safety This Summer
Author: Shannon Miller
To help protect your child from drowning.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Approximately 70 percent of child drownings occur even though one or both parents is nearby.
- 17 kids under the age of 5 drown in hot tubs each year
Beach and Water Safety Tips:
- Supervision – Never turn your back on your child around water. It takes just seconds for him/her to be in serious trouble. At the beach, it’s important that the supervising adult is within an arms reach. Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is responsible for watching the child. Have this adult hold a timer and wear a whistle to indicate to others that this adult is not to be distracted during their “watch”. Even professional beach lifeguards guard the beach in timed segments… you should too.
- Door lock/alarms –All doors leading to the pool/water should have high locks and door alarms that sound when that door is opened. All screen doors of enclosed pools should also have high locks. Be sure screens are intact. Be mindful that “doggie” doors also need to be secured so that small children cannot gain access to the pool area.
- 4 sided permanent fencing–install permanent fencing around all four sides of the pool with self locking latches and check these periodically to make sure they are in good working order.
- Bright Colors– Dress your child in bright colors when going to the lake or the beach. Use a consistent bright color and style of swim suit so all family members have a consistent image of what the child is wearing.
- Pictures – Have a picture of your child in the consistent “beach suit or lake outfit” with you to show the life guard or others who may be with you. Put it in a plastic bag.
- Cell Phones – Your cell phone is VERY important. You may want to protect it from the salt spray by putting it in plastic bag.
- Survival Swimming – Do your research in selecting a swimming program that will teach your child to survive if they go unnoticed in a body of water. Self-Rescue swimming is an added layer of protection.
Have a hook, rope and throw ring attached to the dock such that these can be used at a moment’s notice. Teach and practice their use but do not allow unsupervised practice or play with these vital survival tools.
- Rope off a wading/swimming area – Begin at the shore and extend a rope out to a depth of your choice. Allow your children to swim off of the shore ONLY in this area. It reduces where you might have to search, where they might be upon evading your home supervision.
- Go no further line – Paint a “go no further line” 2.5 feet in from all edges of the dock. Teach children to hold an adult’s hand between that line and any edge of the dock. This is better than the verbal and vague … do not get too close to the edge… Install a dock gate at the entrance of the dock that is armed with an alarm.
- Life Jackets – Life jackets must be worn in a boat or around the water when there is the potential for an accidental submersion. But, life jackets are not a substitute for the ability to swim nor for adult supervision. When picking out a life jacket, please read the warning labels as some of them will not float a child face-up.
- Floaties – Flotation devices such as floaties, inflatable rings, etc., can often times provide a false sense of security for parents and children. These items can easily deflate or fall off your child’s arm leaving them in a potentially dangerous situation.
Hot Tub Safety:
- Temperature – As a maximum, 100 F. is safer for small children, low 90’s F is better (in either case, no longer than 10 minutes).
- Covers – Keep hot tubs covered and locked when not in use.
- Turn the Jets Off – It is best to have children in the tub when there is no turbulence created by the jets.
- Bubbles – in a hot tub drastically reduce the visibility and make the water too interesting for young children not to investigate.
- Slip-resistant mats – To prevent falls – the most common cause of hot tub-related injury — people should place slip-resistant mats around it.
- Check Drain Covers – Few people know of the hidden dangers from drain or suction entrapments. Drains with broken, missing, or faulty covers can entrap hair, the body, limbs, jewelry and clothing, or cause disembowelment/evisceration.
Courtesy Trisha Gabriel, Certified ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) instructor
Do you have any other water safety tips for kids that you would like to share? Share@ShannonMillerLifestyle.com We would like to hear from you.