Drowning is a major cause of accidental death for young children and can occur in just centimeters of water. However, drowning is not the only risk. Many water activities families choose come with their own opportunities for disaster. Use these tips to keep your family safe wherever you choose to make a splash this spring break.
- Private home pools should be enclosed with a safety fence that measures at least 4 feet high and has a self-latching gate.
- Never use a mobile device, even at home, while supervising children swimming.
- Use diapers designed for use in the water. They do not get as heavy, and they help prevent the spread of germs.
- Prevent children from diving through water toys to help prevent a spinal cord injury.
- The law requires everyone on board to have a life jacket available on the boat.
- Each lifejacket should fit the family member based on their height and weight.
- Remind children to keep all body parts inside the boat at all times.
- While swimming near a boat, keep children away from the motor, even if the boat's motor is not running.
Lakes and other bodies of water
- Always enforce the rule that children must inform a parent or supervising adult before they go swimming.
- Another rule for children around bodies of water, especially older ones swimming, is that they must be able to see the supervising adult at all times.
- When jumping into natural bodies of water, always jump feet first and be aware of sandbars and other hidden objects in the water.
Other water safety tips
- If children are playing in a sprinkler, pay attention to how slippery the ground is. Move the sprinkler frequently or take a break until the water can soak in.
- Do not keep containers of water, including buckets and kiddie pools, around your home. Empty them frequently.
- Enter children in water safety and swimming lessons by the time they are four.
Keep the arms-reach rule with toddlers when around water. This includes bath tubs and beaches, as well as other bodies of water.
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