Water safety is important for everyone, but especially for children. Youngsters can drown in just a few inches of water, so it is important to be vigilant when they are near lakes, rivers, pools and dams.
Follow my water safety tips below and read the articles I suggest to ensure water safety for yourself and your youngsters.
Teach Your Children About Our Lakes, Rivers & Waterways
Waterways are an integral part of American culture. From the Mighty Mississippi to your local swimming hole, waterways give us a place to cool off, relax and have fun.
I wrote a great list of water games you can play at the lake. These games encourage children to develop a love for outdoor activities, nature and exploration.
Emphasise The Importance Of Life Jackets
Young children should always wear a Coast Guard-certified life jacket when near open bodies of water, regardless of whether they are good swimmers or not.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 750 children drown each year in the United States, and another 2,600 die from drowning-related injuries.
Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 14 years old.
(Related: 7 Best Places To Buy Life Jackets For Your Kids).
Teach Your Kids Swimming Skills
Research shows that formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in children aged 1 to 4 years old.
Even if your child is a strong swimmer, it is still important that they have strong swimming skills and understand the dangers of swimming in open water.
Be A Good Role Model
Children learn by watching and copying the adults around them. It is important that you set a good example for your children by following water safety rules yourself.
This means not swimming alone, not diving into shallow water, not swimming in bad weather and not swimming while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Supervise Children Around Water
It is important to actively supervise children around water at all times. This means being within arm’s reach and being able to see them at all times.
Do not rely on lifeguards, floatation devices or swimming lessons to keep your child safe. The best way to ensure water safety is active supervision.
If a child does start to drown, it is important to act quickly and calmly. The first step is to call for help. Then, if the child is not breathing, start CPR straight away.
CPR can be the difference between life and death, so it is important to know how to do it. You can find CPR classes in your local area or online.
Remember that CPR is a perishable skill, so make sure that you renew your certifications and practice a mock rescue at the start of every summer.
Prepare For Emergencies
It is important to be prepared for emergencies when you are swimming or boating. This means having a first-aid kit and a mobile phone with you at all times.
It is also a good idea to learn how to use a safety flare and to have a life jacket for each person on board.
(Related: Should You Bring Infants On A Boat?)
By following these water safety tips, you can help keep your children safe around water. For more information on water safety, please visit the website of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.