He rushed back into the bathroom only to see my tiny body face down in the tub. In the moment that he had stepped out of the bathroom, I had climbed back in. My little white nightgown acted as a stopper, trapping the remaining water and holding my small frame hostage. A moment of time…an inch of water…had my father arrived one minute later I may not be sharing these safety tips with you today.
Water safety is always an important topic. During the summer months when temperatures soar, baby pools become permanent yard fixtures, and playdates are centered at the neighborhood pool; it’s imperative that we refresh our memories so that are kids safely stay afloat.
1. What Flotation Devices To Trust:
I wore them. You probably wore them, and we are both here today, but don’t trust your child’s water wings to keep them from drowning. Not only can they easily deflate, they can easily slip off. They don’t keep your little one’s head above water, and they are not Coast Guard approved as a true safety flotation device. While no flotation device (inflatable toys, noodles, etc) should replace proper adult supervision in or around the water, making sure that your child has a Coast Guard approved flotation device is of paramount importance.
2. Backyard Water No No’s :
Although it may sound impossible, young children can drown in as little as an inch of water. Tragically, it happens. So while leaving a baby pool in the back yard may sound like a great idea…DON’T DO IT! When you are done with it, put it away immediately. Even if you dump it out and leave it in the yard, summer rain storms are sure to add an inch here or there. While your little one may not wander into it, a neighboring child may. The only way to ensure that your baby pool won’t lead to an unintentional injury is to supervise appropriately when you are using it, dump all of the water out when you are done with it, and safely store it on its side or flipped upside down in your garage or another place where only an adult can get it down.
In addition to baby pools, standing buckets of water and splash tables that hold water can also be dangerous. dump these out as well and store them properly.
If you have a backyard pool or are visiting someone who does, make sure that you are always supervising. Kids are fast! One minute they are at your side and the next they are in the water. It only takes a moment for a child to drown. It’s okay for you to be paranoid when your kids are around water. That’s your job! It’s also a good idea to make sure that you take a CPR class. Heaven forbid that you will ever need to use it, but in the event that something happens, knowing CPR could make the difference in your child’s life. Every moment counts.
3. Teach them to Swim:
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that young children be introduced to swimming at a young age. Starting as early as the toddler years is a great idea! Research now shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning in children ages 1-4 years old. Even if your child knows how to swim, you should always supervise! Also, advise your kids to stay away from pool drains. These have been known to have a suction power that can pull children down preventing them from being able to get back to the surface.
For more detailed information check out the CDC’s recommendations as well as those from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Have fun in the water this summer…but don’t forget to stay safe. Sun protection is also important! Check out this blog post: Sunscreen safety tips for Kids