,Summer is a magical time in our Kid’s lives when school is out, and everything seems possible.
Do you, like many families, spend many of your summer hours in the water?
Have you thought about what you can do to prevent your child from drowning this summer?
Whether it’s poolside or beachside water safety is a very real issue. And with 10 drowning deaths occurring in the US every day, it’s one that should be on that should be at the forefront of every parent’s mind.
So, the next time you find yourself packing your beach bag, consider taking a moment to go over these 4 tips as well – what you need to know about swimming safety.
Know What Drowning Looks Like
The facts on drowning are pretty scary.
Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental deaths in children under 15. And even scarier?
Up to half of those drowning occur less than 25 yards from a parent or other supervising adult, because drownings are not the dramatic events that Hollywood has led us to believe.
A child who is drowning will often not make any sound at all, nor will they flail their arms.
That is because their arms are being used instinctively to try and keep themselves above water.
At the same time, children who are drowning are having a hard time breathing, so they will not be using the little air they have to yell.
What you will notice is quiet.
Typically children who are playing in the water are loud and boisterous if you notice a child being quieter than normal it is a good idea to check on them.
You might also notice bobbing up and down or being upright in the water without kicking.
Both of these things are signs of distress.
If you notice any of these warning signs get to the child right away, typically a child will only be able to struggle 20-60 seconds before going underwater.
Time matters when it comes to drownings and vigilance is key.
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I first learned CPR when I was 13 and going through the Babysitter’s Training Course that was held at my local Red Cross.
But knowing the old adage of use it or lose it I still look up the guidelines each year to make sure I have them down.
If you want to learn the basics of CPR contact your local American Red Cross.
If you do not have one near you consider contacting your local hospital, often they will have training available for those wanting to learn.
When taking your kids into the water, it is important that you are on your guard.
While picking a pool or beach that has a lifeguard on duty is your best bet, don’t let that give you a false sense of security.
Lifeguards have a lot of people to watch, after all, and their attention cannot be focused on every person all the time.
When swimming with your children, you should give them 100% of your attention, keeping your distractions to a minimum.
That means put down that copy of Outlander, mama! Jamie can wait for your attention until your little ones are safely on solid ground.
You should also keep your younger children right beside you as they are swimming, at least within arm’s reach.
And make the lifeguard aware of any medical conditions your child has so that they can be extra vigilant.
If you have a pool of your own, one of the most important things to do; make it childproof.
That way a child cannot accidentally get into it when a grown-up is not around.
It’s also a good idea to keep a flotation device handy if you have your own pool, this will help you in case of an emergency since the child will not be capable of helping to hold their own weight.
But Make Sure They Know Basic Safety Rules As Well
Last, but certainly not least, is to make sure your children know the safety rules as well.
It is super important for us to be vigilant of our children while they are swimming.
Many accidents can be prevented by making sure our kids learn how to stay safe.
This means explaining to your children what kinds of games can be dangerous.
Dunking, for example, can mask when someone is really in trouble and create a dangerous situation.
Children should also be taught to never run around a pool, and never to pretend they are drowning.
Pretending to drown will stop people from noticing if you are actually in trouble.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun
Some of my favorite memories as a child revolve around being in the water with my parents.
Summer is a time of fun, of experiences, and making memories that will last your children a lifetime.
Stay safe and remember to be engaged, you only have 18 summers like this.
Make them worth it.
Learn what you need to know about swimming safety.
About The Author
This post was written by Jenny Silverstone, the primary author of Mom Loves Best, a research-driven parenting blog that aims to educate parents on essential topics such as swim safety, outdoor safety, and healthy childhood development.