5 Ideas for Keeping Your Children Safe Around Water

Every parent wants their children to be safe at all times. That’s why we babyproof our homes before our dearest are even born and get so diligent around baby car seats and safety. But there’s something that every parent dreads, especially if they aren’t a great swimmer, and that’s water safety. Even if we put aside children’s mortality rate caused by drowning, we must acknowledge children’s natural curiosity about water and that they can drown in as little as 5 cm of water. Most drownings are avoidable, so learning what you can do to keep your children safe is paramount.

parent putting a floatation vest on his kid
source: nbcnews.com

How Do You Keep Kids Safe Around Water?

As the weather gets warmer, many families enjoy their home swimming pools or go to public swimming pools, rivers, and the ocean. Keeping your children safe around water includes taking different preventive measures for kids of various ages. However, nothing substitutes your undivided attention, providing the right floating devices, such as a safe and comfy kids’ float vest, and teaching your kids to swim from the youngest age.

Always Keep a Watch on Your Children Near Water

When your children are near water, you must pay complete attention to them. A drowning may happen in a matter of seconds. Keep an eye on your children at all times when they are swimming. Even glancing at your phone can give a youngster enough time to drown. These ideas also apply while your children are bathing or around other bodies of water in or around your home. Most small children who drown in pools were in the house less than five minutes before dying. The majority of the time, one or both parents are present.

Children Should Learn How to Swim

Children who undergo formal swimming instruction are less likely to drown. Kids as young as four years old can begin learning water survival techniques. Engaging in your youngster’s water activities is fantastic for developing good water safety and swim-ready skills. Even if your child has undergone swim lessons, you should keep a constant check on them when they’re in or near water.

mother and her daughter in the pool
source: parents.com

Select the Right Floating Device for Your Kid

Learning to swim is an excellent time for your child, but it can also be relatively intimidating for them (and you! ), especially if they’re afraid of water. Buoyancy devices can help youngsters maintain a natural swimming stance and increase their confidence in the water.

Most parents and swimming experts recommend using a kids’ float vest if your child is only learning to regulate their motions in water, yet you want them to progress and swim faster. They’re perfect for managing a horizontal stance in the water. Swim vests resemble life jackets in appearance but are incredibly comfortable, easy to put on and provide excellent flexibility of movement. 

When learning to swim, children’s swim vests are worn over swimming costumes or shorts to assist youngsters in establishing a natural posture in the water. They’re a buoyancy assist, meaning they operate with a child’s natural buoyancy to help boost their safety when in water. The vests include removable floats you may remove with time as a child’s confidence and swimming skills develop. There are also vests with non-removable floats available.

It’s vital to highlight that float jackets aren’t life-saving equipment you should use as life jackets. Life jackets keep a person in the water upright and their head above water, whether they are moving or not. Float jackets, on the other hand, are intended to assist youngsters in acquiring a natural swimming stance when learning to swim while also allowing them to dive underwater if desired. 

Children must be monitored at all times, whether in or near water or if they’re wearing a floatation vest or not.

Be Mindful of the Reduced Vision Around Water

Several risks might make it challenging to see near natural bodies of water. Rocks, grasses, waves, and toys are examples. Even if you’re right on top of it, the inside edge of a pool might be hard to see over. Uneven surfaces may persuade you to believe your youngster is safe strolling in knee-high water, but the ground might unexpectedly drop precipitously. Undertow and water currents are additional invisible dangers that may kill persons of all ages.

mother watching over her kid who's walking towards the sea
source: takingoffthearmor.medium.com

Designate Someone to Keep an Eye on the Children

It’s easy to become distracted at a party or with a large group. Determine someone in charge of exclusively observing youngsters in and near the water. Then, every 15 minutes or so, rotate out to give everyone a rest. That assures that someone is paying close attention to the youngsters. Young children or newborns should not be left in the care of other youngsters.

Discuss Water Safety with Your Teenager

Parents should talk to their teens about the hazards of jumping into rivers and oceans from rocks or bridges. Older teenagers, especially boys aged 15 to 19, are at significant risk of drowning. A quarter of these instances include boat-related injuries. Many of these occurrences are because of reckless behaviour, drugs, or alcohol.

mother holding her son in her arms at the beach
source: lwb.org.au

Enclose Your Pool with a Fence

Separate your home and pool area with a fence at least 150 cm high. Use an iron fence with vertical bars 7.5 cm apart. It should close and latch on its own, with a latch towards the top of the fence. The barrier should not be climbable by children. Keep chairs and other items that youngsters can climb away from the barrier. Pool covers and alarms are helpful but aren’t substitutes for proper fences. Soft pool coverings can trap children, placing them at risk of drowning.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.