How to Keep Kids Safe at Home This Summer: Water Safety Tips
Ocean, Pools, Rivers, Lakes and Other Bodies of Water
When I grew up, I only went to the beach a few times each summer and the pool I swam in was a community pools at the local rec center. I remember learning how to swim, getting a certificate and always looking for the lifeguard for guidance on when to swim and when to get out of the pool or the ocean.
While lifeguards still man the public pools and public beaches, there are a lot of private pools, beaches and other bodies of water that pose a danger to our children.
In the Myrtle Beach area, we have not only the atlantic ocean, but also the Intercoastal Waterway, rivers and private community pools, almost none pay a lifeguard to be on duty!
Kids want to play with friends, we visit friends on weekends, maybe we go to a hotel for the weekend to relax and guess what, the hotel has a pool too!
Today, we will be taking a closer look at water safety and kids, as South Carolina families spend a lot of time in, on and near water in the summer!
Risk of Drowning | Kids
From the CDC website we learn:
drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children 1-4 than anything else except birth defects.
They go on to state:
thankfully, parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from drowning.
FACT: No one is drown-proof, and drowning doesn’t discriminate.
FACT: Drowning is fast and silent. It can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds. Drowning doesn’t always look like we would expect.
Would you like to know what you can do to prevent drowning? Let’s learn together!
Four Key Tips to Prevent Drowning
- Learn life-saving skills. As a parent, learn CPR. Sign your child(ren) up for swimming classes.
- Install a fence around your pool. A four–sided fence, with self–closing and self–latching gates, around backyard swimming pools is a must. Keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool.
- Require a lifejacket. Teach your kids to wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, such as lakes, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers too.
- Stay Alert. When kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), closely supervise them at all times. Drowning happens quickly and quietly, adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, and talking on the phone.
The Importance of Home Pool Rules
If you own a pool, set some ground rules. Rules about who can come over, when they can swim, and when it’s not ok to swim. Have a conversation with your own child(ren) and teenager and make sure that kids who come over, with or without a parent, also know your pool rules.
For adults visiting, consider creating a sign with pool rules and placing it on the pool deck, as a reminder of the importance of pool safety!
Technology is Not a Substitute for Parental Supervision
While technology can help prevent disaster around bodies of water, technology cannot replace adult supervision!
Technology that can help keep kids safe includes:
- pool alarms
- window alarms
- door chimes
- outdoor security cameras
- security locks
Keep Kids Safe Around All Water Activities!
Small children can drown in a large bucket (and they are top heavy). Kids have drowned in hot tubs, bathtubs, pools, waterparks, rivers, lakes, oceans and more!
No matter where you go, keep an eye on your kids at all times when you are near water.
Have a fun and safe summer!