29 Jun Summer Safety Part 3: Children And Swimming
The third part of our series on summer safety will focus on children and swimming accidents. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children under five years old in Canada. While accidents may happen, there are some measures parents can take to reduce the likelihood of an injury or fatal incident.
Accidents Can Occur In As Little As 1-inch Of Water
The first rule for swimming and pool safety is to always supervise your children. An accident can occur in seconds. Have another parent or guardian take over if you need to look away for a few moments.
For inexperienced swimmers and toddlers, it’s a good idea to also keep them within arms reach. Children can suffer a fatal accident in very shallow waters, so it’s essential that you are able to get to them quickly if an accident occurs.
Some Tips to Help Prevent Poolside Accidents
According to Health Canada, the best tips for parents to avoid poolside and other swimming accidents are to:
- Always supervise your children
- Make sure pools and other water access points are securely locked when not in use
- Educate your child about water safety
Personal Floatation Devices
Supervision is just as important even when your child is using a personal floatation device (PFD), such as a swimming noodle or inflatable armbands. PFDs are different than lifejackets. Lifejackets are designed to turn people over from face-down to face-up, as well as keep people warmer, when submerged in water. PFDs are not designed to do this.
Tips To Help Keep Children Safe:
- Education: swimming lessons and first aid lessons can help children learn about water safety and what to do in an emergency.
- Safe Environments: make sure if you have a backyard/personal swimming pool, that it is locked and secure when an adult is not present. Avoid play in non-supervised areas, such as lakes and rivers, and use publicly supervised water areas or pools instead.
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