According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
With summer quickly approaching, it’s essential to learn these water safety tips and to be aware of the drowning dangers.
- Enroll your kids in swim lessons. – Start your baby in swim classes at 6 months old and continue them year-round.
- Keeps your kids under constant supervision.
- Know CPR. – To find a CPR class taught by a certified instructor in your area, follow this link to the Red Cross website or call 1-(800) RED-CROSS.
- Install Pool Fences and Barriers.
- Create a verbal cue that you must give your kids before they can enter the pool.
- Create a process your kid must go through before entering a pool. – This can include putting on a swim diaper, a swimsuit, and applying sunscreen. Sue Mackie, the executive director of the U.S. Swim School Association, says, “If you teach your child a process and follow it, it will deter your child from trying to jump into the pool at a whim.” Mackie compares this process to a bedtime ritual for little ones.
- Never allow your baby or toddler in the pool without a swim diaper on. – Swim diapers don’t get as heavy as regular diapers and are less likely to cause your child to lose his balance in a wading pool.
- Never use flotation devices or water wings when swimming or when teaching kids to swim. – Mackie says, “If the child is swimming with water wings, the child and the parent are relying on the water wings to keep the child afloat and not learning to float and swim unassisted. If the child falls into the pool unexpectedly, he or she will not know how to float or find the side to exit the water safely.”
- Make sure your kids learn to swim without goggles and are comfortable opening their eyes underwater. – This way, if they fall into the pool, they can find the side or a step and get out unharmed.
- Have very young kids practice putting their entire face underwater in the bathtub and blow bubbles. – This will build their comfort with water.
- Create a water safety plan for your family. – An important part of this is practicing water emergency drills with your kids that cover how to recognize the signs of someone struggling in water, and what to do in this type of emergency.
- Review pool rules with guests and kids before they get on the pool.
- Wear life jackets on boats, personal watercraft and in open bodies of water.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a pool accident or water accident, call the personal injury lawyers at McGRATH GIBSON as soon as possible after the accident at (904) 358-3300. We have the knowledge and experience to help.