Sink or Swim?

August 28, 2012

It’s summer, and what kid doesn’t love playing in a swimming pool or going to the beach.

For parents it is a convenient, often close and low cost way to consume all that energy your little one has during the hot summer months. Why wouldn’t you want to spend half your summer in the water?

The statistics may make you think twice : 700 children under the age of 15 drown every year in the United States. Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in Canada for children aged one to four.

In fact, it takes a mere inch of water for a baby to drown.

Water safety is no joke.

So how can you protect your children from becoming another statistic to add to this unacceptably high number of deaths?

  1. Supervision! This point cannot be stressed enough. Accidents happen, even if your child can swim, and often dangerous situations can be resolved simply by you being there and vigilant.
  2. Fence your pool. Children are curious and fun loving, fencing your pool properly to code can prevent young children from falling in.
  3. Buddy system. Teach your children that every time that they are in or near water they need to have a buddy, and that they must know where that buddy is and that they are safe at all times.
  4. Swimming lessons. Simple fact - you are less likely to drown if you know how to swim. It is essential for parents and caregivers.
  5. Learn CPR. This small lesson can save the life of your loved ones in a desperate situation. Use life jackets. If you don’t know how to swim, you should be using a life jacket to keep you safe and to allow you to enter the water if a child is in need. Non swimming children, especially in water where you can’t see the bottom, should always wear a life preserver.

As our summers become increasingly hot, the demand from children increases to be in and near the water. There is no room for error on the part of parents and caregivers not to be totally there both physically and mentally while supervising their young swimmers. Their lives depend on it!!