It’s May, which means the temperatures are rising in Palm Beach County and kids will be enjoying time by the pool, beach and lake to stay cool!
Even if your child is an expert swimmer or new to the water, pools and lakes can be dangerous areas for children. Consider that drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-14. In fact, three children die each day from drowning.
We have partnered with West Boca Medical Center to provide you with some great tips to keep your kids safe around the water!
Stay safe by the water, make sure to check out and share these 10 Water Safety tips:
- Kids can drown in a few inches of water. Bath tubs, buckets and even toilets pose a drowning risk. Keep toilet lids closed. Store empty buckets and tubs upside-down so they don’t collect water.
- Drowning can be very quiet. Don’t assume you’ll hear if a child is in distress. Children can drown in a few minutes without splashing or noise.
- Maintain constant supervision of children around water. Have a designated adult watch children at all times. It’s ultimately the parent or caregiver’s responsibility — not the lifeguard’s — to supervise a swimming child. Avoid distractions to supervision, such as reading, looking at your phone/tablet, preparing food or drinking alcohol.
- Insist that your child wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD) around natural bodies of water. Air-filled water aids (such as water wings, pool floats or noodles) do not count as a PFD and won’t protect against drowning. Verify that the proper equipment is being used or bring your own.
- Learn CPR. If a child takes in water, minutes count and resuscitation should be started immediately.
- Clear the pool and deck areas of toys so kids aren’t tempted to go near the pool area to play.
- Enroll your child in swim lessons, and make sure they learn the five water survival skills:
Step or jump into water over your head and return to the surface.
Float or tread water for one minute.
Turn around in a full circle and find an exit from the water.
Swim 25 yards to the exit.
Exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.
8. Don’t assume a child who has had swim lessons is immune to drowning. Almost half of kids aged 10-17 that drowned in a pool reportedly knew how to swim.
9. Home pools should have at least a 4-foot-high enclosure fence and a self-latching gate. The gate latch should be high enough that children cannot reach it. Isolation fencing (i.e. fencing that separates and encloses the pool away from the rest of the yard) is more effective than perimeter fencing (where the pool and yard are enclosed together). For above ground pools, remove access ladders when not in use.
10. Pool covers and door alarms can add extra protection, but they shouldn’t be used in place of a fence.
Looking to learn more about West Boca Medical Center’s pediatric care? Their team features more than 80 affiliated pediatric specialists and subspecialists, all having expertise in treating a wide range of medical conditions. For more healthy living tips, visit their site at westbocamedctr.com or call (866) 724-6002 to find a pediatrician near you!
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- Drowning Prevention Coalition of Arizona