Pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. Being by the water, especially if there is no lifeguard present, can be dangerous for kids if parents don’t take the proper precautions.
Who’s At Risk?
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 372,000 people die from drowning each year, making it a major public health problem worldwide. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide for children between the ages of 1 and 14. Not surprisingly, the highest drowning rates are among children aged 1-4 years.
Most drownings happen in home swimming pools. Young children are most at risk of drowning, and it is important to know what to do in case of an emergency.
Supervision Is Key
Kids need constant supervision around all bodies of water, whether the water is in a bathtub, a swimming pool, the beach, or a lake. Young children are especially at risk, because they can drown in less than two inches of water. That means drowning can happen where you would least expect it.
Don’t assume that a child who knows how to swim isn’t at risk for drowning. All kids need to be supervised in the water, no matter what their swimming skills are.
The American Red Cross and other organizations train people how to respond to and prepare for emergencies. They offer a range of health and safety classes that teach you new skills so you can be confident and ready to respond in almost any emergency situation.
10 Tips for Staying Safe While Enjoying the Water
1. Learn CPR and how to respond to water injuries.
2. Teach young children never to enter a body of water without an adult present.
3. During bath time, always be at arm’s reach and never leave a young child in the supervision of an older child.
4. Empty all buckets, containers, and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of child’s reach.
5. Always keep an eye on your child at public pools. Although lifeguards may be on duty, they are not babysitters.
6. If you own a pool, provide layers of protection: pool safety cover, fencing (at least 4 feet high), self-closing and self-latching gates, pool alarm, and constant supervision. If you have an above-ground pool, be sure to remove any ladders or steps used for access.
7. Young children or inexperienced swimmers should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket around water.
8. Never leave a child unsupervised in any body of water, regardless of their swimming abilities.
9. Teach children that swimming in open water is different than in a pool (i.e. water currents, waves, depths, etc.).
10. Enroll your child in swimming lessons. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, children can safely take swim lessons as early as age.
To learn more about water safety tips and how to keep your kids safe while enjoying a swim this summer, call Intercoastal Medical Group at (941) 955-6748.