Many years ago, there was a national ad campaign featuring a little elderly lady running rampant, screaming, “Where’s the beef!”. Well, when those summer time temps hit, you see everyone doing something similar… “Where’s the water!” Everyone feels the need to find the nearest source of water and dive in. While being cool and wet is a great experience in summer, we also have to remember it’s a fantastic time to push out those water safety protocols! It’s all about protecting those we love.
Not to make you paranoid or overly protective, but drowning is the third leading cause of deaths in children and is the number one cause for those under the age of four. That number alone will put things into perspective about safety. BE SAFE!!
Water safety at home
Any place water can collect is potentially dangerous for very young children. A baby can drown in just an inch of water. Things you can do to protect your child around the house include:
- Never leave a young child or baby unattended around water.
- Close toilet lids and use toilet locks when very young children are in the home.
- Empty all bathtubs, buckets and wading pools after using them. Flip containers over after use and store them away from kids.
- Close bathroom and laundry room doors after use.
Water safety at the pool
A swimming pool is a great place for kids to cool off. It’s also a great place to get into trouble when no one’s looking. Whether you have a backyard pool or hot tub or take your child to the public pool, keep these tips in mind:
- Teach your children to swim. Make sure they are aware of the dangers. Although may be able to swim, it won’t necessarily prevent them from drowning. Supervise children at all times when they’re near water. Young kids should always swim with an adult.
- Fence in residential pools, and install alarms. Fences should be slatted and at least four feet tall. Even young kids can climb a chain-link fence. Gates should be self-closing and latching with latches out of reach of tiny hands. You can get an underwater pool alarm that warns you if something hits the water.
- Cover pools and hot tubs when not in use. Use rigid covers that don’t collect standing water.
- Remove ladders from above ground pools when not in use and store them out of reach.
Water safety while boating
Of people who drown in boating accidents, more than 80% aren’t wearing a life jacket. Kentucky state boating regulations requires all children under the age of 12 to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket or life vest when underway or on the deck of an open boat. The life vest should be in good condition and always fit the child properly.
While boating, your children’s lives are in your hands, so keep them safe by following these tips:
- Wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (life jacket). Kids mimic their parents, so show them that safety is important to you.
- Make sure your child’s PFD is snug. A life jacket that slips off in the water won’t save your child from drowning. Keep it tight, yet comfortable.
- Take a Kentucky Boater Safety Course
- Stay away from alcohol while boating. Most boating accidents happen when the operator is impaired. Avoid putting your kids in harm’s way.
Be smart and safe! Read up on unintentional drowning facts. Know how to prevent the hazards that may exist around your precious child as they experience the relief of the summer heat.
Author: Belinda Davis © 2017