It's a scary fact: a child can drown in even a small body of water in just four to six minutes. That's why May is National Water Safety Month – to bring awareness to the importance of water safety. Here are six ways you can keep your child safe around water this summer:
1. Keep an Eye Out
The number one safety tip is to supervise your kids around any kind of water – from the beach to the bathtub. Always be within arm's length whenever infants or young children are in or around water. on't rely on lifeguards, lifejackets, floatation devices or swimming lessons. Nothing is more valuable than your individual supervision. That also means getting rid of any and all distractions while your child is in the water, such as your cell phone, magazines or books, in-depth social conversations with friends or family, and even alcoholic beverage
2. Enroll Your Child in Swimming Lessons
Kids as young as one or two can benefit from swimming lessons. Not only will your child gain confidence in the water, she'll also learn safety tips that will help keep her safe. But remember, don't rely on swimming lessons alone to keep your child safe. Even if your child has taken swimming lessons for years, you should still supervise her in and around the water in case of an accident.
3. Know CPR
It's always best to be prepared for the worst. Take a CPR course at your local YMCA or Red Cross so you know how to deal with any possible emergencies. It's also a good idea to keep a cell phone nearby whenever your child is playing near water so you can call 91.
4. Wear Life Jackets
Children should always wear life jackets whenever they're on a boat – even if they know how to swim. It's also a good idea for young kids to wear life jackets whenever they're in or around water. Life jackets offer much more protection than swimmies that go around the arms or flotation devices, both of which can deflate. But again, don't rely on life jackets to keep your child safe. She will still need constant supervision from you.
5. Keep Backyard Pools Enclosed
If you have a backyard pool, install fencing that's at least five feet high and completely surrounds the pool to prevent access from the home and yard. Never prop the gate open or leave chairs, tables or kids' toys near the gate that a child could use to climb over it. You might also want to think about an alarm that goes off if the gate is opened. Or invest in a surface water alarm that goes off if it detects motion on the surface of the water.
6. Keep Kids Out of Hot Tubs
Finally, kids shouldn't be allowed in hot tubs or Jacuzzis. Young children have trouble regulating their body temperature. The heated water in a hot tub could overheat a child, causing them to pass out and slip under the water.
This National Water Safety Month, know that water safety is extremely important. With the proper tools and supervision, you and your child can have plenty of water fun this summer.
Looking for more pool safety tips? Check out these recommendations from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.