If you have kids, chances are you are spending a lot of time around the water this summer – especially on these hot days. Whether it is the pool, the lake or the ocean, water safety is probably at the top of your mind.
And with good reason. Drowning takes the lives of many children annually. According to the Centers for Disease Control, from 2005-2013, there were about 3,500 drowning deaths annually – about 10 a day. And one in five people who die from drowning are children under the age of 14.
With those statistics, it’s important to set family rules around water and have some water safety tips on hand to talk over with your kids. To that end, we are sharing our top five water safety tips for kids. Read on:
Never swim alone
This one goes for kids AND adults. This should be your top family rule for swimming. No one – and we mean NO ONE – ever swims alone. By setting this rule, you help your kids learn about the buddy system and how it can save your life.
Invest in swim lessons
Many parents view swim lessons as a fun activity, but they can be so much more. Many swim schools put a big focus on water safety, teaching children what to do if they become fatigued in the water and how to safely enter and exit the pool. We consider swim lessons to be an investment in your child’s safety. Summer is a great time to start!
Know what drowning looks like
In most cases, drowning isn’t the noisy person splashing around like crazy yelling for help. It’s quiet – and can be quick. Read up on what drowning looks like and when you are around water, put down the book or phone and watch your kids. Teach older children these signs too and enlist their eyes to keep little ones safe.
Don’t roughhouse and take breaks
It might seem fun to roughhouse in the pool or lake but it’s a better idea to put an end to those types of activities, as they can lead to injuries – or worse. Also, be sure to enforce a break every hour for rest and hydration. Exhaustion can lead to carelessness and even though you are IN water you need to DRINK water. And teach your children to listen to the lifeguard.
Watch the weather
It’s never a good idea to be around water if a storm is coming, so make sure you keep an eye on the forecast – and the sky. Be sure to clear out of the water if there’s thunder and lightning.
We hope you and your family have a safe and fun summer in and around water!