Summer is in full swing and even though we’ve had a lot of rain this summer, kids are still having fun in the water. Children are swimming in pools, lakes, rivers, streams and ponds.
According to the Pennsylvania Safe Kids Coalition, drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children from ages 1 to 4, and the third leading cause of death among all children.
Here are some things that adults can do to help kids stay safe around water this summer:
• Never leave children unattended around water. Young children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water.
• Avoid any distractions when watching children in water; this includes cell phones.
• Empty all tubs, buckets, containers and wading pools immediately after use. Store them upside down and out of children’s reach.
• Install a fence, at least 4 feet in height, around the perimeter of the pool or spa.
• Use self-closing and self-latching gates.
• Ensure all pools and spas have compliant drain covers.
• Install an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool.
• Keep pool and spa covers in working order.
• Have life-saving equipment such as life rings or reaching poles available next to the water for use.
• Teach children swimming skills at an early age.
• Only use approved life jackets (PFDs or personal flotation devices). Tubes and arm “floaties” and float toys are cute, but may fall off and are not safe to use.
• Caregivers are busy, but learning CPR should be a top priority.