As the weather continues to heat up, your kids will most likely flock to the nearest source of water. While water can provide hours of endless summer fun, every parent should be aware of the potential risks. Educating your family about water safety is a critical part of making the most of this summer.
Here are some general water safety tips to keep in mind:
Sprinklers – Running through the sprinkler is a classic summer activity for kids. The key to sprinkler safety is making sure that the sprinkler used does not have sharp edges. You may want to consider having your children wear water shoes too, just in case. Remind your children that the grass will get slick when wet and to be careful when running around or jumping.
Kiddie Pools – If you have a kiddie pool, keep the pool itself and the water inside clean. Before using the pool for the first time this season, wipe the pool out with a wet rag and dish soap or a gentle general cleaning spray. Make sure you rinse the pool thoroughly. Fill the pool with water from the hose and change the water frequently. Standing water can attract dirt, grass, leaves, animals, and germs.
Small children can drown in just a few inches of water. NEVER leave a small child unattended for ANY amount of time when there is water nearby. Small children can get into trouble in seconds. Never leave small children in the care of other children around water. Even a mop bucket amount of water can be fatal to a child under the age of three.
As mentioned above, it’s important to keep a close eye on small children whenever they are near any amount of water. Even if your children are over the age of three, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep a close eye on them any more.
Here are some key things to remember when visiting any swimming pool:
- Always keep a working cell phone nearby when at a pool with children
- Make sure that you know how to swim and enroll your children in swimming lessons
- Weaker swimmers should wear a Coast Guard approved flotation device
- Verify that rescue equipment such as life rings and reaching poles are easy to access
- Keep children in areas they can safely navigate, never pressure them to go deeper
- Don’t allow anyone to dive or jump into shallow water
- Teach children basic water safety (never allow them to hold other children underwater)
If you have a pool at your own home, keep your pool well maintained. If you ever have any questions about any aspect of your pool, ask a professional such as Aquatech for advice. You can also ask a professional for additional tips on how to make your specific pool safer for children. Know the whereabouts of all children in your care at all times. Consider installing a fence around the pool area with self-closing and self-latching gates. You should also consider installing door alarms on the gates to alert you if anyone is entering the pool area.
If your neighbors have a pool, talk with them about your safety concerns. Whenever possible, make sure that your children do not have easy access to any nearby pool. You may consider offering to pay a portion of the cost to have door alarms installed on your neighbors gates if they will be tempting to your children.
If a child ever goes missing, immediately check any pool or spa in the area.
1. Make sure your children have adult supervision at all times
2. Keep a close eye on any and all interactions with strangers
3. Designate an easy to find meeting place in case someone gets lost
4. Make sure small children wear a Coast Guard approved life vest
5. Wear water shoes (especially to protect your feet when walking around)
6. Apply waterproof sunscreen liberally and follow the directions on the sunscreen
7. Drink a lot of fluids (water is always best, but don’t drink the pool water!)
8. Keep sick kids home
9. Follow all park rules and lifeguard instructions
As stressed above, never leave any child unattended for any amount of time near any body of water. If your family is spending time on or near a body of water, make sure that each child wears a Coast Guard approved life vest at all times. Even if a child is inside a boat, a life vest should be worn at all times. Never allow any member of your family to swim in open river rapids or strong ocean currents.
A guest post by Whitney Hollingshead. She is an optimist, a dreamer, and a professional writer. She loves learning and sharing tips, tricks, and fun facts with others. In her spare time she thrives on coming up with fun and creative solutions for everyday opportunities, especially when the solutions enable her to spend more time with family and friends.
Katie is a Colorado-native, BYU graduated, and most importantly, wife to one and mother to three beautiful boys. She is passionate about sharing her experiences with others – especially about pregnancy, breastfeeding, cooking, and crafts. She is currently training to be a Certified Lactation Educator. She loves spending time with her family and helping others find joy in family life.