On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than taking a refreshing dip in a swimming pool. But while you’re having fun, there are precautions you should take to protect your children when swimming this summer.
The Stop Drowning Now organization offers the following recommendations:
- Life-saving skills: Everyone should know the basics of swimming (floating, moving through the water) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Learn to swim: Learning to swim can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% for 1- to 4-year-olds who take formal swim lessons.
- Barriers work: Four-sided isolation fences with self-closing and self-latching gates around backyard swimming pools can help keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming. Pool fences should completely separate the house and play area from the pool.
- Wear life jackets: Make sure kids wear life jackets in and around natural water bodies, such as lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used in and around pools for weaker swimmers too.
Stay Vigilant: Close supervision is required when kids are in or near water (including bathtubs), at all times. Drowning happens quickly and quietly, so adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like playing cards, reading books, talking on the phone and using alcohol or drugs.