Drowning is the third leading cause of death for all children and it's the number one cause of injury-related death for kids under four. One of the best things parents can do for their children is to teach them about water safety and to learn CPR. Here are a few tips from Children's Health, a proud sponsor of WFAA's Family First.
Water safety at the pool
- Teach your children to swim and practice swimming year-round. Free swim assessments and lessons are available sat your local YMCA.
- Assign an active watcher to supervise swimming children at all times when they're near water.
- Skip the arm floaties. Use Cost Guard approved personal flotation devices.
- Fence in residential pools, and install alarms.
- Fences should be slatted and at least four feet tall. Even young kids can climb a chain-link fence.
- Gates should be self-closing and latching with latches out of reach of tiny hands.
- You can get an underwater pool alarm that warns you if something hits the water.
- Cover pools and hot tubs when not in use. Use rigid covers that don’t collect standing water
- Remove ladders from above ground pools when not in use and store them out of reach.
Water safety at the lake
80% of people who drown in boating accidents aren’t wearing a life jacket. In Texas, all children under age 13 are required to wear a personal flotation device on boats less than 26 feet in length.
Here are some tips for how you can keep your child safe while boating.
- Kids mimic their parents, so show them that safety is important by wearing a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (life jacket).
- Choose a life jacket that is appropriate for your child’s weight. A life jacket that slips off in the water won't save your child from drowning. Keep it tight, yet comfortable.
- Take a Boater Safety Course.
- Stay away from alcohol while boating. Most boating accidents happen when the operator is impaired. Avoid putting your kids in harm's way.
Water safety in and around the home
Water safety isn’t only important at the pool or the lake. Children under the age of one most often drown in a bath tub, toilet or bucket.
Here are some tips for protecting your child in and around your home.
- Never leave a young child or baby unattended around water.
- Close toilet lids and use toilet locks when very young children are in the home.
- Empty all bathtubs, buckets and wading pools after using them. Flip containers over after use and store them away from kids.
- Close bathroom and laundry room doors after use.
For more information on how to keep your child safe in and around the water, visit childrens.com or knowbeforeyougo.org.