Updated July 14, 2015
August has arrived and swimming pools, lakes and beaches are getting busier. Water parks are open for fun in the sun all over Texas. During such a hot month, many of us cool ourselves in the hot Texas sun in these places.
While you’re enjoying the water, please keep in mind that an exciting, enjoyable time can turn tragic very quickly. Drownings happen a lot more than we would like to think. Consider these factors:
- Children between the ages of 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Among these children, most drownings occur in swimming pools in homes.
- Drowning is responsible for more deaths among children 1 to 4 than any other cause (aside from birth defects).
With this in mind, I wanted to share some very important safety tips that will keep your child safer in, and around, the water.
Drownings happen in many different locations, including above ground pools, inflatable pools, and beaches. Sometimes drownings even occur with lifeguards present.
Time Lapses in Supervision
Time lapses in supervision of children swimming are responsible for most drownings involving children. Adults supervising are either talking to others, reading, eating or talking on their phones while not paying close enough attention to a swimming child. Avoid these distractions as much as you can so you are watching children carefully. These measures can also make the difference between life and death:
- Fence your pool in with a fence at least 4 feet tall. Make sure children cannot slip through the gaps or climb over easily. Install self closing and self-latching gates with latches that are beyond a child’s reach. Lack of fencing is responsible for 70% of deaths.
- Whenever infants or toddlers are in the water or around the water, a supervising adult should be in the water, within an arm’s length.
- Learn CPR, keep a telephone nearby, and keep some sort of floating device near the water.
- Children should always wear a life jacket when riding in watercraft of any kind. Small children should wear one anytime they are near the water’s edge (on a dock, near a river, etc.).
- Children should understand the risk of injury involved with diving into water head-first and avoid doing it in shallow areas.
- Take children to swimming locations that have lifeguards when possible.
- Avoid becoming impaired by alcohol or illicit drugs while operating a watercraft.
Following these simple safety procedures can ensure that you and your family experience lots of fun in the sun while staying safe.