Water Safety And Protecting Children

YMCA Buffalo Niagara has provided tips to help keep children safe.

Children must be actively supervised at all times when they are in or near water, including while swimming, taking a bath, or at a waterfront. They should be within an arm's reach at all times.

Have children ask permission before going in or near the water.

Teach children to never swim alone without a water watcher and to only swim if there is a lifeguard on duty or an undistracted, responsible adult watching them.

Also, teach children not to engage in "breath-holding activities" while swimming. Children who do not know how to swim or are poor swimmers should wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

Finally, tell children not to jump into deep water to save a struggling friend. A panicked person will pull them under the water. Instead, extend a long object that the person can grab and pull the person to safety. "With summer around the corner, water safety should be top of mind" www.wnypapers.com (May 1, 2024).

Commentary

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowning is the leading cause of death among children who are one to four years old.

The CDC warns that drowning can occur "any time there is access to water." Drowning "can happen in seconds and is often silent." However, drowning is also preventable. "Drowning Prevention" www.cdc.gov (Jun. 22, 2023).

Therefore, parents, guardians, and those who care for children must be vigilant to practice water safety skills and help protect children from the serious risk of drowning.

Here are some drowning prevention tips:

  • A parent or guardian must supervise children at all times when they are near water.
  • Adults must not look away from children near water even for a few seconds.
  • If you have a swimming pool, keep children out by installing a four-sided fence with a gate.
  • Dump out wading pools when they are not in use.
  • Empty other containers of water, including buckets and bathtubs, immediately after use.


 

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