Whether you love a beach day, prefer relaxing by the pool, or spend your time on boats with family and friends on the weekends, water safety is incredibly important. Even more important is to educate your young children about water safety and to make sure that they take proper precautions while in or near the water. These five tips will allow your family to enjoy the water safely.
- Remember that pools and oceans are not the only bodies of water that can cause a child to drown. As strange as it may seem, wading pools, tide pools, and even water buckets on the beach can be hazardous, so keep an eye on very young children when they are playing. Just as you wouldn’t leave your infant or toddler alone in the bathtub, you wouldn’t leave them alone in a kiddie pool.
- In deeper and larger bodies of water, adults must supervise young children at all times. This means that adults should be within arm’s reach whenever young children are in the water, in order to quickly rescue a child in case of an accident.
- Make sure that your children are aware of safety rules before you visit a pool or beach, or board a boat. Running near the edge of the pool or on the deck of a boat is never allowed, and children should stay in sight of their parents at all times when near the water.
- Make sure that kids use Coastguard-approved floatation devices at all times. When young children are swimming in the water, the Stearns Puddle Jumper is a device designed specifically to keep kids’ heads above water. While boating, try these options for infants and toddlers. Allowing your child to use innertubes or other floating toys as floatation devices is neither safe nor sufficient.
- Eliminate distractions when you’re supervising your kids near water. Your phone, tablet, or laptop can be incredibly distracting, and even if you think you’ve only taken your eyes off your kids for a few seconds, these devices can sometimes lure your eyes away for longer than you may have intended.
Taking these simple precautions can allow you and your family to have a fun, safe experience in the water. Plus, teaching children about water safety at a young age sets a great example for them as they grow more independent in the future.