Water safety tips every parent should know
During the summer months, the number of drowning incidents increases up to 89 percent. Hidden drowning hazards are everywhere, not just a pool or bathtub. Make sure you and your family are up to speed with these water safety tips that every parent and caregiver should know.
Water safety tips for inside the home
Laundry room safety
- Keep laundry room doors closed or gated off.
- Buckets or sinks used for soaking or cleaning clothes are a common household item and pose as a drowning hazard. Empty all sinks and buckets immediately after use.
- Store empty buckets upside-down and out of children’s reach.
Bathrooms are an extreme hazard to young children. According to the CPSC, toilets are overlooked as a drowning hazard, but are one of the more dangerous because toddlers can fall head first into a toilet bowl and get stuck.
- Keep bathroom doors closed or gated off.
- Close and lock toilet lids with baby proofing locks.
- Immediately drain sinks and bathtubs after use.
Pool and spa water safety tips
- Install a pool safety fence that is at least 4 feet high and surrounds the entire pool.
- Make sure your pool fence has a lock that closes and latches by itself.
- Use a pool, gate and water alarm.
- Remove or lock ladders to above ground pools when not in use.
- Only use approved anti-entrapment drain covers.
- Children that do not know how to swim should be in approved life jackets and supervised at all times.
- If you child goes missing, check the pool and spa first.
Supervising children around water
Plan on supervising your own children when water is present. If you have to remove yourself from the area, SafeKids.org recommends designating a Water Watcher. "A Water Watcher is an adult who is in charge of watching children who are in or near water," says Emily Samuel, the program manager for water safety at Safe Kids.
- Outdoor water toys can be a drowning hazard to children. Always supervise your child when he or she is playing with a water table, blow up pool or other outdoor water toys and equipment.
- Always stay within arm’s reach of your child when near pools, spas, toilets, bathtubs or buckets.
- Never leave your child unattended in a pool, bath or other body of water, even if he or she knows how to swim.
- Never leave your younger children in the care of older children around water.
- If your baby is in a baby bath or bath ring seat, he or she must be supersized at all times.
More water safety tips for summer
- Summer time usually brings a lot of outdoor parties. During these parties, it’s common for drinks to be stored in ice chests and large buckets, which can be dangerous to children.
- Educate your family and any caregivers about water safety.
- If you have an outdoor pool, print out safety reminders (to lock the pool gate and set any alarms) and place them on every door leading to the pool area.
- Learn infant, child and adult CPR from a certified instructor.
- Enroll your child in swim lessons, even if it's a refresher class.
- Keep a phone nearby to make emergency calls, but don’t let the phone distract you from watching your children.