Last one in is a rotten egg! Summer’s here and there’s nothing like a dip in the water to cool off on a hot day. But whether it’s at a local lake or a backyard pool, a drowning tragedy can happen in seconds. Parents and kids need to remember that when it comes to water activities, it’s safety first.
According to the Canadian Red Cross, drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for kids under the age of four. That age group is also one of the highest at risk for drowning. It can happen in mere moments, even in shallow water. But a few precautions can keep your kids safe.
Make sure they know how to swim. Many local community centres offer swim programs or you can get private lessons from qualified instructors. You can find lots of options using Google. While you’re at it, take a few lessons yourself in CPR and other life-saving First Aid techniques.
Never leave children unattended, even if they can swim. Remind the kids no running poolside, no pushing, no dunking, and absolutely no horseplay. And no false calls for help. Playing safe is serious stuff.
Make sure you know where life-saving equipment is located (a life ring or reaching pole). And don’t just rely on inflatables like water wings. Remind your kids to stay away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings. A tiny hand or arm or even long hair can easily get caught, dragging the child down.
If you’re swimming in a river, lake, or the ocean, always follow the water safety signs. Tides, currents, and weather conditions can change rapidly and the bottom can be uneven or hide unwanted surprises. Go where there is a lifeguard and follow the instructions. If the sign says “danger,” don’t swim there.
For more information
- Don’t take your eyes off your child in the water, The Province
- Child Drownings in Canada: Infographic, Canadian Red Cross
- Child Safety: Drowning Prevention in Pools and Hot Tubs, HealthLinkBC