Water safety is our top priority all year round. But as we get deeper into spring and summer, it’s important for parents and educators to be even more aware of risks near water. Let’s celebrate National Water Safety Month by brushing up on practices and precautions that can save a life.
In March, the American Academy of Pediatrics published updated water safety recommendations. Drowning is one of the most common causes of death among children – and the single leading cause of injury-related death among small children, ages 1 to 4. The AAP is partnering with families who have lost a child to launch a drowning prevention campaign.
Water Safety Tips from the AAP
Pay attention to all sources of water.
Many drowning deaths happen when children have unexpected access to water, even a small amount. Empty water from buckets, wading pools and other containers when you’re done using them. Don’t leave young children alone in the bathroom, and use toilet locks.
Never leave children alone or under the supervision of another child while in or near bathtubs, pools, spas or other open water. Designate a supervising adult with swimming skills to be focused on children in the water and not engaging in other activities. For infants and toddlers, the supervising adult should stay within an arm’s length to be able to provide “touch supervision.” And all children and teens should wear life jackets when near open bodies of water.
When staying at a house with a swimming pool, be sure the pool is surrounded by a four-sided fence. Set guidelines so that kids are only in the pool when an adult is present.
Sign up for swim lessons.
Learning how to swim is a vital life skill for all children – and it’s also a fun family activity. Start swim lessons early, and help your kids build their comfort, confidence and competence in the water. Tom Dolan Swim School offers classes for children of all ages and levels. We believe so strongly in learning this skill earlier rather than later that we offer our Waterbabies I classes, for babies 3 to 5 months old, for free.
Learn more about our swim classes, and sign up online.