Stay Cool and Stay Safe
Pool and beach water safety tips for all ages.
On a hot, summer day where do the crowds gather? Anywhere there’s cool water. The pool, lake, and beach provide the perfect setting for summer fun. They also provide opportunity for your worst possible nightmare. Drowning is the top cause of injury deaths in young children, ages 1 to 4 years.
It may be hard to believe, but all it takes is one inch of water for a child to drown. Add in a whole pool or ocean of water and the chances increase drastically. Without proper safety measures in place, water plus children can equal a deadly combination.
As your family enjoys the water this summer, stay safe with these rules.
Lock It Up
A pool in your backyard is a huge responsibility for the safety of your own kids as well as neighborhood kids. Install at least a four-foot high fence around the perimeter of your pool and put a lock or safety latch on a self-closing gate. Whenever you’re away from an aboveground pool, remove the ladder and use a safety cover.
Alarms are an additional safety measure to detect movement in or around the pool. Alarms on exterior doors leading to the pool are also recommended. Also, be sure to always keep water toys out of the pool and hidden when not in use so kids aren’t tempted to retrieve them out of the water.
Take Swim Lessons
The number one thing you can do to protect your family in the water is to make sure each member knows how to swim. Check with your local YMCA or community pool for age-appropriate swim lessons and sign your kids up today.
Remember, however, that while children who know how to swim are safer in the water, they should never be left unsupervised in a pool.
It’s also a good idea for parents and babysitters to prepare for emergencies by taking a course in CPR training, water safety, and other water rescue techniques.
Set Water Rules
On your way to the beach or a friend’s pool, go over specific water-safety rules with your kids. Make sure each child knows what is allowed and off-limits around the water. Good rules to keep them safe include the following:
- Kids who don’t know how to swim must continually wear lifejackets when in proximity to the water.
- Children must always ask permission before going near the water.
- Never swim alone, even if you know how to swim.
- No running on the pool deck.
- No diving in shallow water.
- No rough play in the water.
Keep Constant Supervision
Even if a lifeguard is on duty, don’t take your eyes off your children for a minute. Keep young kids within arms reach and don’t give an older sibling the responsibility to supervise a child.
In the time it takes to answer the phone, text a friend, or take a bathroom break, a child can drown. All it takes is 10 seconds for a child to go under, two minutes for a child to lose consciousness, and four to six minutes for a submerged child to have permanent brain damage.
Prevent Sunburns and Dehydration
Part of pool and beach safety includes protecting yourself from the sun and heat. Since water reflects the sun and you don’t feel sunburn when you’re in cool water, you’re more prone to get burned. So stay safe and apply sunscreen regularly.
At the same time, being active in the sun in or out of the water can speed dehydration. Bring plenty of fresh water to drink throughout the day to make sure your day is safe and enjoyable!
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