It’s that time of year again! The school year is ending, and summer break is quickly approaching us. For many, our summers include lots of time spent near the water with our beloved family and friends enjoying the relaxation. Whether you are spending your time at the beach, lake, or in your backyard swimming pool it is extremely important to know water safety for yourself and your children. An unfortunate statistic states that drowning is often one of the leading causes of death for children ages one to four according to Stop Drowning Now. It is important for parents to know CPR to ensure water safety. We have rounded up some of the best practices to instill water safety knowledge and education.
Have Pool Barriers and Alarms
Many of us who live in warm climate regions are fortunate enough to enjoy a pool in the convenience of our own backyard which can be a big safety concern if you have small children. The California Pool and Spa Association state that any pool that has been refurbished after 1998 must have at least one safety barrier to protect children from drowning, but more than one barrier is ideal. A mesh pool fence that is at least four feet tall with self-closing and self-latching is most popular in most homes. Also, another item to promote swimming pool safety is a pool alarm to detect when something enters the water- this is a great option for our loving pets too!
Pool Drain Awareness
The pool drain is an essential part of your pool’s filtration system to keep it clean, but it can present a risk for weak and inexperienced swimmers. The strong suction that comes from the pool drain can cause entrapment underwater to a small child. Investing in proper equipment such as a drain cover and talking with your children about these dangers is the best thing to raise awareness to them and also making sure to tie long hair back and stray away from swimsuits with long strings that could get caught in a drain.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, right? Keep an eye on your children. A child falling into a pool can happen in a matter of seconds, so it is important to always maintain constant supervision (this even goes for bath time too!). If your children are near water, you should never presume that someone else is keeping an eye on them. Any child under the age of four should be kept at arm’s length always even if they know how to swim. Also, never rely solely on inflatable water wings, inner tubes, or foam noodles to keep children safe.
Stay In a Designated Areas
If you and your family are headed out to a public beach or lake to enjoy a day in the sun, be sure to always stay in the areas that are set up for swimming only. Always pay close attention to any posted warnings about unsafe swimming conditions or locate a lifeguard when you arrive to be prepared for any kind of emergency. It is suggested by the American Red Cross to ensure everyone in your family knows how to swim. They offer many classes taught by trained, professional instructors from adults to infants!
Set Aside Distractions
When we head out to the pool or the beach it often provides parents time to sit back and relax or catch up on emails and social media posts while the children play. It also provides distractions and occupies our eyes elsewhere other than supervising children playing near water. If you have to send out that last email, make a quick phone call, or just want a five-minute break to check social media always be sure to ask another responsible adult to stand in while you step away.
We hope you and your families all enjoy a safe and fun summer together! There are many organizations, fire departments, and local hospitals that offer CPR certification courses to make sure you are fully prepared for safe summer fun this year!