Tips for Essential Water Safety
We’re sliding into the hottest months of the year, and many of us will be delighting in the cool water of our local lakes, rivers, and pools. But playing in the water is probably one of the riskiest activities out there. In fact, drowning is a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 4, and most accidental drownings occur during the summer months. Thousands of older children and adults also die from water-related injuries each year.
Here are eight water safety tips to keep you safe this summer:
Learn to swim: The American Red Cross recommends that all children who plan to spend time in the water get age-appropriate swim lessons. Even three-month-old babies can start learning skills that will make them safer and more confident in the water. Contact your local swim center or Red Cross to get your children signed up. (Adults can take swim lessons too!)
Talk to your kids: Let your children know that, while playing in the pool can be loads of fun, it can also be extremely dangerous. Teach them to not run or play near the water, to always enter in the shallow end (if they’re not experienced swimmers), to use a buddy system and to never get in the water without proper safety gear and adult supervision. Please follow this easy but important water safety tip.
Pay attention: When it comes to water safety, there is absolutely no substitute for adult supervision. Don’t let kids play in the water unless there is a responsible adult available to watch without distraction. If you need a break, even just to use the bathroom, have somebody step in the worst can happen in just a few short minutes.
Stay sober: The combination of alcohol and hot sun can be deadly, and can can greatly increase your risk of a water-related injury, or make you less able to respond to emergencies if you’re the one in charge of supervising others. One key to water safety is to stay sober.
Restrict access: If you have a hot tub, pool or body of water near your home, make sure it has effective boundaries (like a pool cover), signage and fencing to keep people and especially kids out. If you are the owner, you could be liable for any injury that occurs, even if the person who was harmed was using the pool without your permission.
Call ahead: If your kids are planning to play at the home of somebody with a pool, be that annoying parent and call ahead to find out whether the pool is secure, and to make sure your child will be supervised. If the answer to either question is no, don’t allow it.
Wear life-jackets: Life-jackets save lives. Whether you’re going to the beach, lake or pool, make sure each member of the family has a life jacket that fits and that they actually wear it.
Stay energized: Take regular snack breaks and stay hydrated while you’re being active in the water. This will ensure you stay alert and that you’re able to respond to changing conditions or emergencies.
Follow these guidelines to keep your family safe and swimming all summer!
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