Summer temperatures have settled on the valley, and with kids out of school, over 90% of families with young children will spend some time this summer in the water; almost half (48%) plan to swim at a place with no lifeguard. Drownings can happen year round, but accidents during the summer months can increase up to 89% compared to the rest of the year. Whether at home or on vacation, keeping your child safe when they are in, or near, water should be your highest priority. Following these water safety tips provided by the Red Cross and your local Phoenix children’s doctor, as well as always maintaining vigilant supervision of your children around water, will help to keep them safe this summer.
Practice Water Safety
- Swim in areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Never allow anyone to swim alone. Ensure that each child learns how to swim well and unassisted.
- Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water.
- Do not rely on life jackets or flotation devices.
Maintain Constant Supervision
- If you have a pool, secure it with proper fencing. Keep gates closed and ensure that the latch is out of children’s reach or use a lock to secure the gate.
- Actively supervise children, even when a lifeguard is present.
- Avoid any distractions when supervising children around water.
Know How to Respond in an Emergency
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds DO count in preventing death or disability.
- Teach children how to call 911 and recite the home address.
- Maintain current CPR and First Aid certifications.
- Keep emergency equipment nearby, including a life ring, cell phone, life jacket, and first aid kit.
Just because a child can swim doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen. ALL children require active supervision around water; toddlers and weak swimmers should be within the supervisor’s arm length at all times.
Research indicates that less than two inches of water is enough to drown a child. Following water safety tips and being prepared for an emergency is the best way to protect your family from water-related accidents. Pediatrix, your local Phoenix children’s doctors, understands the pressures of parenting and concerns you may have about keeping your children safe during swimming season. Call Pediatrix today at (623) 869-9080 or contact us online with your child’s health and safety concerns, vaccination needs, newborn care needs or to schedule an appointment.
Subir K. Mitra, MD FAAP
Posted in Blog on June 14th, 2012