Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in young children. However, there are a number of strategies that you can use to prevent such a tragedy. By following basic safety precautions, you can help ensure that your child is safe around the water.
- If you’re at a public pool, note the available “layers of protection” as soon as you and your kids arrive. Is there a lifeguard on duty? Is the pool area secured by a childproof gate? Is there a barrier separating the shallow “kiddie” portion of the pool from the deep end?
- Never leave a child unattended near water. Make sure that you are always within arm’s length of your child and that your attention is always focused on them. If you must leave the area or you become distracted by a phone call or chores even for a moment, ask another parent or adult in the vicinity to watch your child, or remove your toddler from the water to go with you.
- If you do lose track of your toddler’s whereabouts, always check the swimming pool first. Also, make sure you are CPR trained just in case.
- Don’t assume your toddler is safe just because your child knows how to swim, especially if independent swimming is new. The controlled atmosphere of a supervised swimming class is very different than a chaotic pool or waterpark.
- Always remove any toys or floats from the water as soon as your toddler leaves the pool. Toys attract toddlers and young children, who might try to reach for them and fall into the water.
Above all, supervision is key. If you keep track of your children’s whereabouts at all times, you can be sure they will be safe.
- Always check to see if there is a lifeguard on duty when visiting a public pool or beach.
- Never leave your child unattended near water.
- Just because your child has had swimming lessons doesn’t mean they are free from drowning.
- Make sure you are CPR trained and certified.