Ten Water Safety Tips the Whole Family Should Know
Summer is the perfect time to explore the outdoors. In North Carolina, we are fortunate to have access to great lakes, rivers and the ocean. The sad truth though, is that drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death in children age 1-4 and the third leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 19 and under. The cause is often supervision related. Keeping your kids (and yourself) safe when enjoying the water, means knowing how to protect them while in the water and what to do in the event of an emergency. Here are ten tips that can help.
- The biggest tip for keeping kids safe while in the water is to tune in. Cell phones, books and other distractions should be put aside so your full attention is on your child in the water.
- Never rely on the lifeguard. They have many people to watch, and seconds count in drowning incidences. Keep your eyes on your child(ren) when they are enjoying the water.
- Always stay within an arms reach of your child in the event you need to assist them.
- Put learning CPR on your priority list. Knowing what to do in the event that you find your child (or anyone else) unconscious, is priceless. You can sign up for classes on the American Red Cross website.
- If you have a pool or hot tub, install and use barriers to help prevent children from gaining unwanted access. Above ground pool ladders should be pulled and secured away from the pool when not in use.
- Make sure everyone in your house knows how to swim well. Age appropriate classes are available to help keep children (and adults) safe while enjoying the water.
- Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets when boating or when an inexperienced swimmer is using the pool. “Floaties” should not be depended on to keep children safe while in the water.
- The buddy system is an important for children and adults. Teach the importance of swimming with a buddy.
- If your child is missing and you have a pool, check the pool first. Time is of the essence in drowning cases.
- Know what to do in the event of an emergency. Keep a phone near the pool, so it is easily accessible. Dial 9-1-1 to report any emergencies.
It is important that families establish water safety house rules. These rules when taught at a young age can help prevent drowning. The water is meant to be enjoyed. By taking the proper precautions, families can make positive memories that will last a lifetime. If you have questions about water safety or any other parenting topics, contact Rainbow Pediatrics online or call 910-486-5437.