As summer approaches, it is crucial that you and your family are vigilant about keeping young ones safe around any body of water. Children are at risk any time they are near swimming pools, ponds, lakes, rivers, the ocean—even something as small as a bathtub.
All it takes is a brief distraction of a parent or caregiver for a child to slip silently underwater. Drownings often happen at gatherings with lots of people and when one adult assumes that someone else is watching the water or the child.
Drowning is an extreme scenario, but other traumatic injuries can occur, including diving into a shallow end of a pool causing head or neck injuries, running where it’s slippery and falling, as well as injuries from rough play or other games in the pool.
A few safety tips from our experts:
- Always enter the water feet first—this can help avoid head or neck injuries and ensure you are at a comfortable water depth.
- Never play breath-holding games—this can lead to passing out or other cognitive impairments.
- If you have a pool at home, make sure it has a fence surrounding it completely that is at least four feet high and has a self-latching, self-closing gate.
- Always have children wear a life jacket when in open water or on boats.