Whether you’re bathing your child in a sink or tub, swimming in your backyard or at your local beach, water is fun for children and adults alike. Humans, especially young children are drawn to water, fascinated by it – toys float in it, it’s sparkly and it often resembles a giant bathtub which subconsciously brings up happy memories for young children. It is also a place where safety needs to be the highest priority.
There are many aspects to water safety and no person is immune to the dangers of water related accidents – not adults, not lifeguards, not Olympians – a water related accident can happen to anyone. Since there are so many layers and categories to water safety we have broken them into sections to better understand the risks and ways to reduce them in your daily life. This blog will focus on general water safety – check back for more in this series on residential pools, open bodies of water and standing water in and around your home.
- Learn CPR – Hopefully you are never in a situation where you need to use this training but if you do find yourself in a situation where someone requires CPR whether it is near water or not you will be thankful that you were educated, training and prepared.
- Have a designated water watcher – Never leave a child unattended near or in any body of water. Children should be within arms length of an adult and you should never rely on an air filled flotation device, noodle, arm floats or ring to keep a child safe in water. 23% of drownings happen during family gatherings, make sure to designate a water watcher during this time and work out a rotating schedule, or hire a lifeguard for your large family parties.
- Take swimming lessons – Swim lessons and “knowing how to swim” does not substitute for a water watcher or lifeguard but it can reduce the risk of drowning by 88%.
- Don’t consume alcohol – Being in charge of watching out for the safety of others in the water is a massive responsibility and should be taken seriously, your judgment should not be impaired while you are doing so.
- Know what to do in an emergency – Take the time to discuss an emergency action plan with your family for every possible scenario.