Little children love to play in the water. It’s sparkly, things float in it and it’s fun to splash. But water safety is no laughing matter. Anyone can have a water-related accident — even children who know how to swim. A baby can drown in just 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) of water. A curious toddler can also fall into a toilet, bucket or fish tank.
How to prevent a child from drowning?
- Learn CPR. Knowing how to do CPR can come to your aid if/when an emergency arises.
- Stay close. You have to be at an arm’s distance from your child when you are teaching or allowing your child to play in the pool.
- Make one person in charge. If you are at a party and there’re children playing near the pool, one parent can take responsibility for being close to the children.
- Keep children together. When there are older children, keep them together as they can help each other or call out for help when someone is drowning.
- Fencing. Swimming pools that have fencing are always safe as they don’t allow children to get inside without adult supervision. Fencing might not be extremely affordable, but by building a fence between your house and the pool, you are surely going to protect your baby from the risk of drowning.
- Remove toys. Don’t leave pool toys in the water. A child might fall into the water while trying to retrieve a toy.
- Teach children to swim. One of the best ways to keep children safe is to teach them how to swim. This is something that they will totally enjoy and at the same time they will be able to protect themselves from drowning.
- Use life jackets. If you are going for a boat ride or any other adventure water games, make sure to get a life jacket for your child.
- Set-up emergency drills. Make sure to teach everyone in the family or friend-circle the drill when someone is in trouble. When the situation arises, everyone will know what to do if they have been trained earlier.
- Supervise bath time. Never leave a child alone in the bathtub or in the care of another child. Drain water from the tub immediately after use.
- Shut toilet lids. Consider installing childproof locks on lids.
- Keep the bathroom door closed. Install a safety latch or doorknob cover on the outside of the door.
- Stay in designated areas. At public beaches, swim only in areas set aside for swimming. Pay attention to posted warnings about unsafe swimming conditions. Don’t allow children to swim in drainage ditches, abandoned surface mines or other water-filled areas not intended for swimming.
- Beware of thin ice. Drowning can occur in the winter, too. Avoid walking, skating or riding on weak or thawing ice. Pay attention to posted warnings regarding ice safety and consult a local department of recreation for current ice conditions. If you spend time on frozen lakes or rivers in winter, learn rescue techniques, such as staying off the ice and using a rope, branch or other long object to reach someone who has fallen through the ice.
- Keep emergency equipment handy. Equipment might include a life ring with rope, reaching pole or shepherd’s crook. Always have a phone in the pool area.