Water Safety for Kids

Watery Safety for Kids
Posted on 05/05/2018
Article by Dr. Sherry Pottgen

As summer approaches many people will be looking to cool off in swimming pools, lakes and beaches. Although swimming is fun and provides great exercise it comes with risk. Nearly 1,000 children each year drown making it the second leading cause of accidental death. There are many ways to keep your children safe in the water. Here are several helpful tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding water safety:

1. Never leave children alone in or near water even if they know how to swim. Close supervision by a responsible adult, preferably one who knows CPR, is recommended if a lifeguard is not on duty. Adults should be within arm’s length of children 5 years of age or younger.

2. Parents should avoid distractions while children are in the water, including working on the computer, talking/texting on the phone and drinking alcohol at a party.

3. Young children can drown in only a few inches of water including the sink, toilet, fountain, bucket, inflatable pool, or small body of standing water. Empty and put away containers of water after you are done using them.

4. Floaties or other inflatable swimming aids should be avoided. They can give a false sense of security to the child and parent. Only an approved, properly fitted life jacket or vest should be used.

5. There is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills classes prevent drowning in children younger than 1 year of age. However, studies suggest that the drowning risk for children ages 1-4 years is lower for those who have had some formal swimming instruction. Ultimately, the decision to enroll a child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent. Regardless of age, swimming programs are not drown-proof.

6. All swimming pools must have a fence around all 4 sides separate from the house with a self-closing/self-latching gate that opens outward. Rescue equipment should always be around the pool. Remove all pool toys and put them away after use so children aren’t tempted to try to retrieve them through the fence.

7. Hot tubs and spas are dangerous and are not recommended. Children can drown or become easily overheated.

8. No pushing or running near the pool. Never dive into water except in areas where it is permitted.

9. Remember to use proper sunscreen protection at all times. Reapply often to avoid sunburns.

10. Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.

11. When a storm or lightning is approaching, get out of the water and seek shelter.

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498

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