Kids are quick. In the blink of the eye, they can be out of your sight. It’s true that you really can’t take your eyes off of kids, especially when they’re out enjoying the beach or a swimming pool!
The Centers for Disease Control report that from 2005-2014, there were about 10 unintentional, non-boating related drownings per day throughout the year. Sadly, about one in five of those who die from drowning are children ages 14 and younger, and many more have to receive emergency care for injuries related to the water.
It’s clear to see that water safety is very important, but these statistics shouldn’t keep you and your child from enjoying the water during the summer heat. Keep these water safety tips in mind and be sure to share them with your kids so you all have a safe and pleasant summer at the pool, lake, or beach.
The pool or the beach are great ways to cool off without spending a ton, but if you’re not ready to spend the entire week lounging poolside, we’ve got some great tips for cooling off without stretching your energy bill, plus our top 10 picks for sunscreen under $10!
Tip #1: Consider having your kids take swim lessons
This is one of the best ways a child can try and help themselves if they find they’re in a dangerous situation, like falling into a pool. Check with your local pool or YMCA to find out when they offer swim lessons and what ages they accept.
Tip #2: Make sure kids have a good life jacket
But go a step further and make sure it fits properly. If the life jacket is too big it may slip off — and if it’s too small it will be uncomfortable. You should also look for life jackets approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. These can be a lifesaver and taking them off when kids are around the water shouldn’t be an option!
You can find children’s life jackets at many sports and outdoors shops. If you’re shopping for a new one, don’t forget to check for the latest sales and coupons from Cabela’s, REI, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Tip #3: Find out how many lifeguards are on duty
If there are dozens of kids at a pool with one lifeguard, it may be challenging for them to do their job properly.
Tip #4: If you have a home pool, consider building a locked fence around it
Be careful with the remote pool covers. Children can slip under them and get stuck beneath the cover, which can be extremely dangerous.
Tip #5: Check your community pool’s safety equipment
If your child is going to a public pool, check to make sure they have appropriate equipment like a first aid kit and reaching or throwing equipment.
Tip #6: Act out what to do in emergency situations
Do role playing with your kids before you hit the pool or beach. Act out different scenarios and practice what your kids should do in these various situations. Practice can help them identify and react more quickly to a dangerous situation.
Tip #7: If you own a pool, keep lifesaving equipment near the pool
In the event of an emergency, you may not have time to wait for paramedics to arrive. Also, keep CPR equipment and instructions for infants, kids, and adults near the pool.
Tip #8: Don’t let the kids get too exhausted
When they’re tired, they won’t be as responsive in an emergency situation. Make them take breaks every hour or so. This could be the perfect time to reapply sunscreen and enjoy a small snack or take a water break.
Tip #9: Make sure kids know where they’re allowed to dive
Diving accidents are one of the top causes of spinal cord injuries. Make sure if kids are diving it’s in the deep end. And no jumping off of fences into the pool!
Tip #10: Teach your kids about rip currents
If you’re at the beach, be extra careful of the rip current. The ocean can look calm but can still be dangerous. Tides change constantly, so always stay with your kids and keep life jackets on them for extra safety.