Play in and around the water is the perfect way to cool off when the temperatures reach their annual highest. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen when necessary precautions aren’t taken, and young children are the most at risk for water-related accidents.
The potential for an accident doesn’t have to stop your water activities in their tracks. By taking the necessary precautions, detailed out in the water safety tips listed below, parents can greatly reduce (or even do away with) the possibility that a water-related accident will happen.
• Any child who cannot swim strongly should wear arm floaties or a life vest when playing in or around the water.
• Life vests should always be worn when operating a motorized personal watercraft, canoe, or kayak.
• Children should not run or horseplay near the edge of pools.
• An adult should always be present when children are playing in or near the water.
• Remember that drowning is silent. It is not the yelling and splashing seen in movies. For this reason, parents should not only be present, but attentive to any child in the water.
• While at the beach, pay attention to the lifeguard. They will ask everyone out of the water if there is a dangerous animal present, or if currents become too strong for average swimmers.
• If you have a pool at home, make sure there is a fence or other barrier installed around the pool. A large number of children who drowned in pools at home were nowhere near them when last seen.
• Any kiddie pools, tubs, or buckets should be emptied immediately after finished to prevent accidents occurring later when nobody is paying attention.
• Experts recommend enrolling all children age six or older in swimming classes. Classes can be started earlier if preferred.
• Parents may want to enroll themselves in a lifeguard training course so that if an accident were to occur they are prepared. Older teenagers can also be enrolled in these courses.
• Even if parents decide to not take lifeguard training courses, experts recommend that everyone in the household over the age of fourteen take CPR and first aid courses.
By following the water safety tips listed above, parents can minimize the risk of water-related accidents during the hottest months in Texas. Water can be a safe, fun place to play for children of all ages if the appropriate safety measures are taken. Remember that failing to be safe around the water just once is all that it takes for an accident to occur.