Summer sunshine, blue skies and rising temperatures. It’s the time of year when a dip in the pool or a trip to the ocean or a lake seems so inviting.
Indeed, the water can provide a reprieve from the heat and a good time for both young and older swimmers.
But it’s also important to recognize that globally drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old, according to the World Health Organization. And, in the United States it’s the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children 14 and under, the WHO states.
A few tips to help keep your children and teenagers safe around the water this summer whether you’re in a backyard pool, the public swimming facility, a lake or on the beach. Keep cool and stay safe!
• Supervise closely – an adult should always have eyes on children near water
• Rotate supervision – come up with a plan to hand off formal watching duties
• Turn off the phone – even a brief distraction is too much
Teach your children at an early age a few tips that will provide a lifetime of good sense near the water.
• Never swim alone — have a friend with you and an adult watching you
• Always ask permission to enter the water — make sure the adult sees, hears and understands, grabbing their hand if needed
• Don’t reach for dropped objects — it’s an easy way to end up falling in, so get help instead
• Walk when near water — No need to run and risk tripping or falling into the pool.
• Wear a life jacket – This just makes sense, especially for younger children who don’t know how to swim or are just learning.
• Enter the water feet first – Know where you’re walking into the water.
• Never swim in moving water – Don’t underestimate the power of the current.
• Stay in a designated area — This way parents or those supervising know where you’re swimming.
• When you’re tired, get out of the water – No need to stay in too long if fatigue is setting in.
Also, remember to apply an appropriate amount of sunscreen to your child’s skin in order to prevent sunburn. Take precautions to prevent heat-related illness.