“This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. All opinions are 100% mine.”
Did you know that drowning is the #1 cause of injury related deaths in children under the age of 4?
That’s a pretty scary, but very real, thing to think about. Especially if you have young children. I didn’t learn how to swim until I was almost 6 but I am making it a priority for Squeaker to learn before she turns 4 if not sooner.
But what else can we, as parents, do to help our kids? Here are just 3 life saving things that parents do to prevent drowning.
There may be few better ways to spend a hot day than at the beach, lake, water park or swimming pool but amid all the fun and games it is important to put safety first.
Learning to swim and be safe in and around the water are important survival skills. Accidents only take a few seconds to occur, but they can often be prevented by ensuring your loved ones follow simple water safety guidelines.
Playing with water can be fun and exciting, especially if you are engaging in water sports.
The problem, however, is that water can be dangerous for people of all ages. About 5,000 people drowned in the United States alone every year, and 1,000 of this population are children younger than the age of 15. It is for this reason actually that drowning has been considered as the one of the primary causes of children’s death.
Children drown for a number of reasons.
The most common situation that leads to child drowning is when the child is left alone in the water. Many found it surprising that children drowned without any hint or sign of danger previously observed.
It was in fact reported that small children tend not to splash or make noise when they get into trouble in the water and it happens in just a few minutes. Because of this, supporters of child safety have considered certain recommendations and tips for child safety around water.
So what are these tips for child safety around water?
Several experts have noted that for ultimate child safety around water, it is important not to leave a child alone near water, be it on the beach, at a pool, or in a bathtub.
If you must leave, take your child with you or ask someone to look after the child. The rule of thumb here is to have an adult constantly watching while young children are enjoying the water. When I say “constantly watching”, it means that no reading, card playing, or chatting on the phone is allowed.
Such kind of activity will only distract your attention while supervising a child around water and can be the reason for the child drowning.
It is also important to realize that small children do not only drown in pools.
Bathtubs, buckets, toilets and hot tubs pose certain dangers to your child as well. So the best way to do is not to leave your child unattended near those areas. If you let them near the buckets, make sure that the buckets are empty for toddlers are more prone to drowning even in just one inch of water.
If for instance you want your children to enjoy the water as long as they wish, enroll them in swimming classes.
A number of swimming lessons for children age three and above are in fact offered almost anywhere nowadays. Swimming classes are conducted and taught by qualified instructors who are trained and well-informed about child safety around water. It is still important to keep in mind that swimming lessons do not make the child drown-proof.
Finally, regarding child safety around water, do not underestimate the power of water for even the lakes and the rivers are dangerous. Also, arm yourself with a first-aid kit and emergency phone if possible.
Take a look at this picture for a few minutes and then tell me, what are the differences that you can see?
The photo on the left illustrates several things that could lead to an accident
- Gate is open
- Child running
- Parents are distracted/not engaged with their children
- Parent not in the water with their kids
But what else can we do?
1. step or jump into water over their head;
2. return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute;
3. turn around in a full circle and find an exit;
4. swim 25 yards to exit the water;
5. exit the water without using the pool ladder.
3 Life Saving Things that Parents Can Do
So we’ve talked about water safety and water safe environments. We also listed water survival skills. But how else can parents prepare?
- Active Supervision Eliminate distractions like checking social networks or email and stay within arm’s reach of young swimmers at all times.
- Reduce Risks Install fences in swim areas, empty kiddie pools and tubs immediately after use, and provide swim lessons to children as young as one.
- Be Prepared Learn CPR and First Aid, know the signs of drowning and keep a phone close in case you need to call 911.
How will you prepare for this summer and what water safety tips would you like to share?