According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average 3,536 unintentional drownings that are not boat-related were recorded annually from 2005 to 2014 in the United States alone. This translates to about ten deaths each day. Meantime, there were an additional 332 people who died annually from drowning due to boating-related incidents.
It was further revealed that about one in five fatalities caused by drowning is children aged 14 years and younger. For every young soul who dies due to drowning, another five are being given emergency treatment for submersion injuries that are non-fatal.
Whether it’s summer or not, parents need to make sure their children are safe, especially when they are swimming, be it at the beach or pool. Below are essential tips to keep your children safe from drowning:
- 1. Teach Your Children How to Swim
A child who does not know how to swim is more likely to drown than children who are trained. Shallow pools and floatation devices can encourage you to believe your children will be safe. However, these things can only bring you a false impression of security. One of the best ways to keep your children safe from drowning is to teach them how to swim.
While you can observe all the precautionary measures in this world, accidents are still inevitable. If your child accidentally trips in deep water without any flotation gear, he or she must know how to swim towards the side of the pool. You can talk to your child’s pediatrician or a healthcare expert to know when is the best time to get swimming lessons for your child.
- 2. Designate an Adult as a Water Watcher
Supervising your children while they are swimming can appear like a chore, not unless you are playing with them in the water, too. So, if you need to attend to other things, you should have someone to do the supervising for you.
One way to keep an eye on your kids while they are swimming is to designate an adult who knows how to swim as a Water Watcher. Also, you have to let them know that they must keep a close watch on the children. This means they should not be playing games, texting, or reading. It will also be best if you will keep a phone close by just in case you need to call for assistance. You can also consider buying a pool alarm to act as a safety sensor for your pool.
- 3. Use a Pool Fence
If your pool is in your backyard, make sure that you have an appropriate pool fence with a self-latching and self-closing gate. Meantime, if your home is located near a pool, make sure that your children know how to respect the fencing and gates and to never enter the pool area without the supervision of an adult.
- 4. Educate Your Children About Drain Dangers
Children are usually drawn to anything that looks unfamiliar in their surroundings. This is why it is important to educate your children about drains and the dangers they present. Drains in hot tubs and pools are like sockets. They are dangerous because children can become stuck to a drain and drown. When you are at a spa or pool, you must check if the drains have proper drain covers. Also, teach your kids to do the same. It will also be best if you have a pool safety cover to discourage your children from going anywhere near the pool, especially when you are not around.
- 5. Learn How to Perform CPR
If the worst happens, you need to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is why you need to learn how to perform CPR and make sure your skills are updated.
Swimming is one of the basic life skills that should be learned early. Accidents can happen at any given time. Thus, it’s always better to know the safety measures that you can do to protect your child while at the pool.