Water Safety is a Summertime Essential in the New York Times today is a good reminder of some essentials of water safety no matter what the age. since drowning is the second most common cause of us death of kids 1-14 (car accidents are number 1), a dad has to be active in prevention. A few topline points:
- Give kids 100% attention while at the pool. Of preschooler deaths, 70% occurred with one or both parents present, and 75% of those were children who were out of sight just five minutes or less. As a dad, you cannot read a paper or watch the ballgame while supervising young children in OR around the pool. Infants and toddlers should never be more than an arms length away when around an open pool
- NEVER assume that because a child can swim they do not need supervision around the pool.
- NEVER assume that because a child can swim in a pool, that he or she can swim in a lake, river, or the ocean.
- NEVER mix swimming and alcohol. Up to half of drowning deaths of teens are alcohol-related. Since you may not be with them if and when this mixture occurs, make sure they understand the increased dangers of drinking and swimming, even if you think they have never touched alcohol.
- Don’t rely on flotation devices like floaties and tubes for non-swimmers. Children should be taught to swim when developmentally ready (around age 5), which is one of your roles as a great dad (core experiences dads should teach their children).
Have a safe summer in the water!