Water Safety Tips for Parents: Protecting Your Children Around Water

Summer is here, and that means more time at pools, lakes, and the beach. While water activities are fun and refreshing, they can also pose serious risks, especially for children. At Anderson Hills Pediatrics, we want to ensure that your family enjoys a safe and worry-free summer. Here are six essential water safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Designate a Water Watcher
    Never assume that someone else is watching your child around water. Always designate a responsible adult as the water watcher. This person should be solely focused on monitoring the children and not distracted by activities like reading, using a phone, or socializing. The water watcher should change every 15 minutes to ensure that attention remains sharp and fresh.
  2. Wear Life Jackets
    Life jackets are a must for children who are not strong swimmers, especially when boating or playing in natural bodies of water like lakes and rivers. Ensure that the life jacket is appropriately sized and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Life jackets provide buoyancy and help keep children afloat, reducing the risk of drowning. Remember, water wings and inflatable toys are not substitutes for life jackets. For more information, check out this brochure from the US Coast Guard on How to Choose the Right Life Jacket.
  3. Teach Your Children to Swim
    Swimming is not only a fun activity but also a vital life skill. Enroll your children in swimming lessons as early as possible. Look for classes that are age-appropriate and taught by certified instructors. Children who know how to swim are less likely to panic in the water and are better equipped to handle themselves in an emergency. Remember, even strong swimmers need supervision, so always keep an eye on your kids when they are in or near water.
  4. Learn CPR
    In an emergency, knowing CPR can save a life. CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a critical skill that can keep blood and oxygen flowing to the brain and other vital organs until professional help arrives. As a parent, taking a CPR class gives you the confidence and ability to act quickly in an emergency. Many local organizations, such as the Red Cross or American Heart Association offer CPR courses. Make sure to refresh your skills regularly to stay prepared.
  5. Install Water Barriers
    If you have a pool at home, installing barriers such as fences, gates, and alarms is crucial. Pool fences should be at least four feet high and have a self-closing, self-latching gate. Alarms on doors and windows that lead to the pool area can provide an extra layer of protection. These barriers help prevent unsupervised access to the pool and give you peace of mind knowing your children are safe.
  6. Use Drain Covers
    Pool and spa drains can pose a significant danger if they are not covered correctly. Powerful suction from drains can trap children and even adults underwater. Ensure that all pool and spa drains have compliant, properly fitting covers. Educate your children about the dangers of playing near drains and encourage them to stay away from these areas.

By following these water safety tips, you can help ensure that your children stay safe while enjoying their time in and around water. At Anderson Hills Pediatrics, we care about your family’s well-being and are here to support you with any questions or concerns about water safety. Have a safe and fun summer!