In the summer months many of us find our way to a local swimming pool to cool down. Whether you use your own pool, a neighbors’, the community pool, or even a plastic kiddie pool, our Injury Prevention team reminds you to stay vigilant when children are around water.
A fun day in the sun can turn into disaster within a matter of seconds. There were 30 child fatalities due to drowning in 2015. Of those, 97 percent were preventable. Here are some great tips for keeping your kiddos safe this summer.
- Actively supervise children in and around water. This means avoiding distractions of any kind such as reading or talking/texting on your phone.
- Make sure home pools have a four-sided fence that is at least four feet high with a self-closing and self-latching gate. This helps prevent wandering children from entering the pool area.
- Teach your child to swim regardless if you own a pool or not. You never know when that skill might be needed.
- Teach young children from an early age not to go near or in water without an adult. Everyone should always swim with a buddy just to be safe.
- Make sure kids know that swimming in an open area like the ocean, a lake, or river is not the same as a swimming pool. Uneven surfaces, river currents, undertow, and changing weather are very real hazards.
- You can do your part by learning CPR and basic water rescue skills. You may end up saving a child’s life.
A pool fence should never be considered a substitute for a watchful eye. Always make sure your pool fence is in good repair and separate from the house. Check for additional ways a child could get outside such as a doggie door. If you’re going boating, make sure your child wears a properly fitted life jacket. Inflatable flotation devices and pool toys are no substitute for a life jacket. Finally, maintain constant eye supervision with children around any body of water including bath tubs, buckets, and toilets. Enjoy summer pool fun, stay hydrated, and remember to watch your kids around water. For more information visit safekids.org.