Drowning is the leading cause of death in children, so water safety is a must for your family this season.
The summer season can be a breath of fresh air for families — you’ve survived cold and flu season and you have another successful school year under your belt! There is much to be celebrated! The summer season is a time to embrace the sun and revel in all the outdoor activities, with the water being at the forefront of fun!
At Huneycutt Family Medicine, we are your Loveland family practice — providing everything from flu shots to education on water safety! Use today’s post as a guide to keep your whole family safe and protected while enjoying the water.
Family Water Safety
The statistics are alarming — drowning is the leading cause of death in US children according to the American Red Cross, with 69% of drownings occurring when the kids weren’t expected to be in or near the pool.
This is the first in a series of summer water safety posts, and today we’ll be concentrating on water safety in home pools.
Secure your pool.
The most vital factor you must do if you have a pool and a young family, is to secure the perimeter. Do whatever you have to do to create a barrier between you and your child. Because kids are curious, we know they’ll find a way out and into the water if given the opportunity.
So, how do you secure your pool when you’re not in it?
Implement fencing – Fencing with a locked or self-latching gate is a great way to keep kids out. Ensure the fence is narrow enough to prevent a small body from slipping through the posts and into the water. A four-sided fence reduces the risk of drowning by 83%, compared to just three-sides or no fence.
If you have an above-ground pool, it is important to remove all ladders and access to the pool when it’s not in use.
Keep your pool covered – Although this may be a hassle in the summer, keeping your pool covered helps keep little ones from falling in or getting curious about what’s in the pool.
Read more about pool barrier recommendations and guidelines here.
Talk about pool safety.
If you have a pool, you need to talk pool safety with your kids! This should be a conversation that you have routinely over the summer — with all of your kids no matter their age(if they can walk it’s time to have the pool safety talk)!
Go over pool rules such as “a parent always needs to be with you when you’re in or near the pool” and “tell a parent or sibling if you’re going outside so everyone knows exactly where you are and that you’re safe.”
Address other rules such as:
- Always have a swim buddy
- Enter and exit the pool appropriately (no diving or pushing each other in)
- Wear a life jacket or get a noodle if you’re not a strong swimmer yet
At home pool safety is critical in keeping everyone safe and on the same page about the dos and don’ts of your pool.
There are many more things to cover, so stay tuned for additional posts in this series!