Pools, lakes, ponds and beaches mean summer fun, but water can also be dangerous for kids if you don’t take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning. Most drownings occur in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of five and twenty-four. The good news is there are many ways to keep your kids safe in the water, and make sure that they take the right precautions when they’re on their own.
Keeping Kids Safe:
Kids need constant supervision around water. Whether it’s the bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake. Young children are especially vulnerable. They can drown in less than two inches (six centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen where you’d least expect it. Examples would be, the sink, toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater. Always watch children closely when they’re in or near any water.
If you don’t already know how to swim. Learn! Kids older than four should learn, too (Check the local recreation center for classes taught by qualified instructors.). Kids who are younger (but older than one) also might benefit from swimming lessons, but check with your doctor first. Don’t assume that a child who knows how to swim isn’t at risk for drowning. All kids need supervised in the water.
Don’t forget sunscreen, and reapply frequently, especially if they’re getting wet. UV sunglasses, hats, and protective clothing can also help provide sun protection. Kids should drink plenty of fluids, particularly water, to prevent dehydration. It’s easy to get dehydrated in the sun, especially when kids are active and sweating.
Take advantage of everything summer has to offer. Swimming is not only a lot of fun, but an excellent way to exercise. Enjoy and be safe!