By Mark Gormley, M.D.
The long-awaited onset of summer means time spent enjoying lakes, rivers, pools and water parks. It’s also when, unfortunately, we see the most water-related accidents and injuries. By following some simple guidelines, parents can make sure their children have a fun and safe time in the water.
- Teach children never to go near water without an adult present. Don’t rely on an inflatable tube, water wings, or a noodle to replace a properly fitted life jacket.
- Observe children at all times. Never assume another adult or lifeguard is supervising your child.
- Always have your child swim with a buddy. Whether they’re swimming in a pool or lake, children should not be in the water alone.
- Make sure children know the water’s depth. Never allow them to dive in shallow water, as this can result in permanent injury. Deep water can pose a drowning risk.
- Keep your child close to the shore or pool’s edge. Kids of all ages are often overconfident about how far they can swim, and can quickly become exhausted.
- Enroll children in swimming lessons. They’ll learn to tread water, float, and become comfortable in the water.
- Learn CPR. In the event of an emergency, this is something all parents should know.
Some of these tips are taken from Safe Kids Worldwide. For more age-specific water and boating safety tips, visit their website.