Ready Set Go to Kindergarten

Water Safety Tips for Summer 2018!

Nicolle Bellmore Pierse - Monday, May 14, 2018

With summer right around the corner, now is a good time to start thinking about water safety. Below is additional information that will help everyone enjoy the water this summer and stay safe at the same time.

Water Safety at Home

Never leave your child unattended around water.

Here you'll find everything you need to know about water in the home. Whether you're bathing your baby in the sink or splashing around with your toddler in the bathtub, water is great fun for kids. But it's also a place where safety must come first, so here are a few tips for kids who love to get wet.

Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old. Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in the bathroom or a bucket.

Top Tips

  1. Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult.

  2. Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and kiddie pools immediately after use. Store them upside down so they don’t collect water.

  3. Close toilet lids and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.

  4. Install fences around home pools. A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.

  5. Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a life.

Swimming

Children 1 – 4 years old are more likely to drown in a pool. Children who are 5 years and older are more likely to drown in natural water (ponds, lakes and rivers).

Top Tips

  1. Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.

  2. Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water.

  3. Make sure kids learn how to swim and develop these five water survival skills:•step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface;

  • •float or tread water for one minute;

  • •turn around in a full circle and find an exit;

  • •swim 25 yards to exit the water; and

  • •exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder

  1. 4 Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

  2. Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.

Boating

Always have your children wear a life jacket that fits properly.

With almost 100 different kinds of boats – from kayaks to canoes to motorboats – there’s a good chance most of us will be having a great time on the water at some point. So when you do, please remember these simple safety tips for the entire family.

In 2013, 77 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.

Top Tips

  1. Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have the child make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits the child’s chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.       

  2. A large portion of boating accidents each year involve alcohol consumption by both boat operators and passengers. To keep you and your loved ones safe, it is strongly recommended not to drink alcoholic beverages while boating.

  3. Infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If your children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.

  4. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind – and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better. Local hospitals, fire departments and recreation departments offer CPR training.

  5. Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: They need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

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