Child Drowning and Water Safety
The Startling Facts About Child Drowning and Water Safety is this month’s guest post from Jenny Silverstone from Mom Loves Best
With the hot summer sun still at full strength, many families are seeking relief in the water. Whether it’s at the beach, the river, the lake, or the local community swimming pool, there’s nothing like a dip in the water to beat the heat.
When moms take their little ones near the water, they’re always on high alert. Most are aware of the dangers of drowning. But do you really know just how common it is? Or what you should actually be looking for to spot a child in distress? This visual guide to water safety from Mom Loves Best is eye-opening and has the critical information that every mom needs to know.
What You Should Know
Swimming is great fun, but it also has the potential to be incredibly dangerous. In fact, drowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the world – with the vast majority of those incidents involving children younger than 5.
Drowning is also difficult to recognize if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In fact, drowning is often silent – which makes it less likely to be noticed. A person struggling to swim will also be struggling to breathe. And a person who cannot breathe cannot cry out for help.
Finally, you may think that having a private swimming pool will help boost a child’s water confidence and prevent drowning. But the fact is that 75% of drowning deaths occur in private swimming pools.
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What You Can Do
Now that you know the startling facts, it’s time to learn how to keep your children safe.
First, you need to know what to look for. Visual clues that a person is struggling in the water include their head being low in the water or tilted back, appearing as if they’re trying to assume a position to float on their back. Their eyes will also be closed or unfocused, with hair covering their eyes or forehead. They may look like they are making an effort to swim, but not making any forward progress.
Next, you need to have safeguards in place to prevent drowning accidents. If you have a pool, make sure it is adequately fenced and covered if it’s a permanent structure, or drained if it’s inflatable. Ensure all drains are properly maintained to prevent children from being caught or snagged. And enrol your children in swim lessons at an early age to teach them proper swim technique.
Finally, it’s important to never be complacent. Even if a child knows how to swim does not mean they will never find themselves in trouble. They still need appropriate supervision. And while life jackets and other flotation devices are helpful and can save lives, it’s important to remember they’re not infallible and that you still need to watch your child closely while they’re wearing one.
Water play remains one of the top ways to beat the heat in summer, and while the statistics are scary, it’s important to be aware. Thankfully, when you know the risks you can implement proper safety measures to make sure that your family has (safe) fun in the sun this season.
About the Author
This post was written by Jenny Silverstone. Jenny is the mother of two and a blogger. She enjoys trying to help educate parents about swim safety, sun protection, breastfeeding and other important issues. You can read her work at MomLovesBest.
A huge thank you to Jenny for this well-researched post. We both share a passion for spreading the word about staying safe, whilst having fun, around water.
You can read my post here.
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