Water Safety Tips
Learning to swim is the first step to prevent accidents from happening in and around the water. The National Safety Council reports that drowning claims the lives of more than 3,000 people each year, and children four and younger have the highest death rate due to drowning.
To ensure your child’s safety in the water, make sure they know how to swim. Enroll them in swimming classes as early as age three; this will drastically reduce their risk of drowning.
A water accident is fourteen times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved in the death of a child (kidshealth.org).
- Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14 years old
- Three children die every day as a result of drowning (kidshealth.org).
- A child can drown in two feet of water if they went face down (USA Swimming).
- Research states that if a child doesn’t learn to swim by the 3rd Grade, that they will most likely never learn how to swim.
- Swimming lessons are beneficial at any age however; the younger children start the more they will develop a comfort level with the water. The more opportunities they have to be exposed to the water, the better they will be protected in the water.
Watch Children In Water At All Times
Most water-related injuries happen when eyes are taken off of children.
Never leave a child alone or unattended near the water. Even though a trained lifeguard may be present, all parents should practice, “reach supervision,” which means to be within arm’s length of a child.
Children who are not strong enough to swim on their own should use a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device.
All people especially children should always swim with a buddy and be knowledgeable of the water environment, taking notice of deep and shallow areas, currents, exit areas, and obstructions.
Watch your children for signs of the dangerous “TOOS”
- Too tired
- Too cold
- Too far from safety
- Too much sun
- Too much strenuous activity
Water Safety Tips from the International Swimming Hall of Fame
- Teach children water safety and swimming skills as early as possible.
- Always brief babysitters on water safety, emphasizing the need for constant supervision.
- Appoint a “designated watcher” to monitor children during social gatherings at or near pools.
- Maintain constant visual contact with children in a pool or pool area. If a child is missing, check the pool first; seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Don’t use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. Never allow a young child in a pool without an adult.
- Don’t rely on swimming lessons, life preservers, or other equipment to make a child “water safe.”
- Never assume someone else is watching a child in a pool area.
- Don’t think you’ll hear a child who’s in trouble in the water; child drowning is a silent death, with no splashing to alert anyone that the child is in trouble