Water Safety Tips
During the hot, lazy days of summer everyone likes to play in the water.
Swimming is a great activity, but did you know that drowning is the number two cause of childhood injuries nationwide in children 14 and under? In 2003, nearly 4,200 of these children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for accidental drowning-related incidents.
According to a recent study, nearly nine in 10 drowning-related deaths occurred while a child was being supervised. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water, so they are at risk in bathtubs, toilets, pools, spas - and even buckets with water or cleaning solution.
To prevent drownings around pools and hot tubs:
- Never take your eyes off of children or leave them unattended in or around the pool
- Stay alert and avoid distractions such as reading or talking on the telephone
- Appoint a designated water watcher, taking turns with other adults
- Erect fencing on all sides of the pool or hot tub. The fence should be at least 5 feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
- When a hot tub is not in use, secure it with a locked cover
- Consider alarms for the pool/hot tub, and on doors and windows with access to the pool / hot tub
- Teach children to stay away from pool and hot tub drains; tie back long hair to guard against entanglement and entrapment
- To avoid entanglement or entrapment, install anti-entrapment drain covers and consider a safety vacuum release system
- Enroll your child in swimming lessons after age four when they are more likely to retain information
- Don’t rely on water wings or other inflatable toys
- Find out when and where diving is allowed. Never dive in water less than nine feet deep.
- Learn infant and child CPR and keep life-saving equipment by the pool or hot tub
To prevent drownings around open water:
- Always wear a U.S Coast Guard-approved life jacket when swimming or participating in water sports
- Make sure the life jacket fits snugly and doesn’t allow the child’s chin or ears to slip through the neck opening
- Teach children how to tread water, float and swim out of a cross-current
- Learn infant and child CPR and keep life-saving equipment accessible