Swim Safe This Summer
Summer is nearly in full swing and there is nothing quite like a fun dip in some water to cool off! Whether you are a parent or not, it’s always wise to keep water safety in mind. As many as 600 children die by drowning every year and nearly 7 times that are treated for nonfatal submersion injuries. By wising up on water safety we could perhaps save a life and, as a parent, enjoy the cool water with reassurance that our kiddies are that little bit safer.
- Swimming Lessons. Children as young as six weeks can be taught to float and from six months can learn to hold their breath. By the time they are one, they can be taught enough to swim to the edge of the pool. All these are great steps to ensure a higher level of safety, however do not leave young children unattended just because they have been to swimming lessons; it’s a safety net, not total prevention. Please also remember that flotation devices are not a replacement for adult supervision.
- CPR lessons. Make sure you and other adults who are supervising are familiar with CPR. You can even print out a small poster with pictures explaining the steps and stick it up somewhere it is easy to see.
- Supervision at all times. Always make sure there is an adult watching and if the doorbell or phone rings, take the child/children with you. If you are in a crowd the adults could even take turns as the designated watcher.
- Make the rules. Set rules for safe water play and teach them to your children. It’s best to keep it simple – no running, no diving in the shallow end, no pushing people in or pulling other kids under the water, no eating whilst swimming and no swimming without adult supervision.
- Cover or Fence. Cover your pool when it is not in use or enclose it with fence that kids can’t climb. If you have a fence make sure the gate latches and avoid having chairs or other furniture nearby that the child could climb to get over the fence.
- Emergency ready. Make sure you have a well-equipped first aid kit and a phone close by. Have emergency numbers on hand.
- No temptation. Clear toys away from areas with water so as not to tempt a child.
- Beach Safety. When swimming at the beach, face the waves so you can see them coming, don’t swim far out especially to water where you cannot stand.
- The unknown. Enter unknown water feet first so that you can learn how deep it is, if there are rocks, etc.
- REMEMBER that a child can drown in as little as 2.5cm of water, making even your pets drinking bowl a hazard. Make sure to keep an eye on fish ponds, Jacuzzis, fountains, buckets of water, even make sure the toilet seat is down and that baths and sinks are empty.