Water Safety and Kids
When the warm weather arrives, so does swimming in pools and lakes as well as going to the beach, splash pads and water parks. With this increased amount of time in and around water for our families we need to make sure we have a set of rules regarding water safety that each of our family members understands and abides by, so that we can all stay safe.
Children and Water Safety
We as parents need to be very proactive when it comes to water. One wrong decision and your child could be seriously injured and/or the situation could be fatal. You do not want to ever have to think, I wish I could take back that moment and do things differently. With this said, it is very important that you have a set of rules and guidelines surrounding water for your family. This way, you can make sure that you have made sure that everyone is safe at all times. Water Safety Rules are imperative!
Here is a list for you to start with, to help create your own rules around water.
- Always keep children within arms reach when near any water
- Ensure children are supervised, even those who can swim
- Supervise and swim with children only when you are free from alcohol and drugs
- Make sure adult supervision is effective, meaning that the adult can swim and will know how to save the child if something goes wrong
- Remind your children to stay away from ditches, creeks, rivers and lakes
- Make sure that any children or adults who are weaker swimmers wear a life jacket while swimming and around water
Water Safety and Drowning
Understanding the statistics of drowning is important so that you can see just how many fatalities there can be and to understand that water is very dangerous. According to the Canadian Red Cross there are approximately 520 Canadians who die needlessly in unintentional water-related fatalities each year. As well, children aged 1 – 4 and men aged 15 plus are at the highest risk of water fatalities. Another shocking statistic is that as many as 69% of young children who are found drowned or submerged in swimming pools were not expected to be in or at the pool.
Hiring a lifeguard for back yard get togethers and BBQ’s is always a good idea. When there are so many people mingling and many children in the pool, one can assume that someone else is watching the kids, however, that moment someone is not watching and something happens and a child is now at the bottom of the pool unnoticed. Depending on what a pool liner looks like, even when you look into the pool, you may not recognize that a child is in there. So, please be proactive and hire someone specifically to watch the swimmers.
If a child is missing, always check the pool or other body of water first! Survival depends on a quick rescue and restarting of breathing as soon as possible. If you are not certified in CPR or rescue breathing, you should take a course to learn what to do if you need to save someone. At Your Digital Classroom in our Home Alone Course with First Aid as well as our Babysitters Course we have sections on Water Safety related to each specific course.
Backyard Pool Safety Checklist:
Every yard should have a safety check list posted for their family and friends to be able to view at all times. Here are some ideas for a list you may consider making for your yard.
- No running on the pool deck
- No pushing others into the pool
- Look before you jump or dive
- Always have an effective sober adult to supervise
- Flotation devices are available including life jackets, which can help guests and children to stay afloat even if they already know how to swim
- No swimming alone
- No glass is allowed around the pool
- Have a ‘throw-ring’ safety and flotation device with a rope attached available at your pool
Water Safety for Kids ~ This link includes resources to help your child learn about water safety while having fun in and around water. It is a great video series that they can watch one several topics, enjoy 🙂
We do encourage you to seek out swimming lessons for your children as well as yourself if you are not a strong swimmer or if you feel that you need more skills to be able to swim more efficiently.
Please be safe and proactive around your pools and water.
Your Digital Classroom ~ Online Safety Courses for Children and Youth