Accept the Challenge – Keep Our Kids Water Safe this Summer
When the weather turns warm, everyone wants to be in or around the water. Spending time at the pool or the beach on a hot day is a great way to beat the heat. Make sure that while everyone has fun in or around water everyone is also safe.
Health Plan of San Joaquin (HPSJ) encourages you to adopt good water safety practices. Learn ways – now! – to keep children safe and healthy while they enjoy the summer fun.
Safe Kids Worldwide reports drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1-4 years old, and they are more likely to drown in a pool. Children five years and older are more likely to drown in natural settings, such as lakes and rivers.[i] Drowning is also the second leading cause of death for people ages 5 to 24. The National Safety Council reports that 737 people in this age range drowned in 2014. According to Injury Facts 2017, and not including boating incidents, on average about nine people die from drowning every day in the United States.[ii]
Here are some steps you can take for children to enjoy and be safe while doing water-related activities.
- Watch children when they are in or around water without being distracted.
- Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult.
- Make sure older children swim with a partner every time.
- Teach children how to swim; every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready.
- Make sure children develop these five water survival skills:
- Step or jump into water over their heads and return to the surface
- Float or tread water for one minute
- Turn around in a full circle and find an exit
- Swim 25 yards to exit the water
- Exit the water; if in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder
- Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool.
- Know what to do in case of an emergency. Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.[iii]
But wait, there’s more!
“Even if everyone knows how to swim, slipping on wet surfaces can lead to fatal accidents. Designate a pool monitor if you are having a pool party. No one wants to be stuck watching the swimmers the whole time. Have each parent take a 30 minute shift monitoring the pool” says HPSJ Concurrent Review Nurse LeAnn Duval.
Challenge yourself, and encourage others to stay healthy and safe in or around water this summer.
For more tips on how to keep children safe when in or around water, please visit:
[ii] Drowning: It Can Happen in an Instant.
http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-water-safety.aspx. Accessed June 12, 2017.
© Health Plan of San Joaquin, June 2017