Remember these safety tips for kids around the water this summer
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the number one cause of death for children under four. If you plan on spending time at the pool or lake, keeping a few things in mind to help your child stay safe is essential.
Eleven children die every day from accidental drowning. Most of those drownings happen in pools, but an accidental drowning can happen anywhere a child can access water. To kids, the pool is a place to have fun, and they may not understand the dangers of it. Here are a few things to remember as we head into swimming season.
First, anytime your children are around water, make sure you are watching them. Some places like hotels, recreational centers, and home pools don’t always have lifeguards, so you must keep an eye on your kids. Ensure you constantly scan the water to see that everyone is okay. Some places to watch out for are near the wall and behind a ladder entering the pool. If you go to the lake, the water may not be clear, and your kid could be hard to see.
Second, If you have a home pool, ensure the gate to get into the water is closed and locked when no one is swimming. This will prevent kids from wandering onto the deck and falling in. Also, keep toys out of the pool so kids aren’t tempted to get into won’t the water to get the toys and cannot get out.
Third, remember drowning is silent. You won’t hear splashing and screaming if your child is underwater and can’t get out.
“Drowning is a silent killer when a child goes into the water, and they’re not able to swim, or they become overcome with trying to stay afloat in the water, they go under that water,” said Mercy Safe Kids coordinator Becky Spain. “It’s silent. There’s no splashing. There’s no screaming. They just simply sink down into the water, and you only have literally seconds to get that child out of the pool. So if there’s not an adult that’s watching what’s going on in the pool, it’s very dangerous.”
Another thing to consider is dressing kids in brightly colored swimsuits. White and blue swimsuits can be challenging to see in the water compared to bright pink or green. It will be easier to spot them in distress in bright colors.
Instead, if you are at the pool or the lake and your child can’t swim on their own, ensure they wear an appropriate life jacket.
“Floaties that we often put on our kid’s arms can cause us to have a false sense of safety that our kids are fine because they’ve got those floaties on their arms and they’re going to be fine in the water,” said Spain. “But really, anytime that you put a flotation device on your child, it needs to be a U.S. Coast Guard-approved flotation device, or it’s giving you a false sense of security and in the protection that it’s giving your child.”
Also, talk to your kids about how the life jacket keeps them safe and that they need to keep it on until an adult tells them it’s okay to take it off. One of the best ways to help keep your kids safe is to put them in swimming lessons.
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