Swimming can be one of the great joys of a child’s summer. But its important to be vigilant around water, and not just at the beach. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children 14 and under. And for children ages 1 to 4 its the leading cause. The majority of drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools (Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention).
Keep young swimmers safe with a few simple rules:
- Lifeguards aren’t babysitters. Keep an eye on your kids, and never leave a child alone near water, whether on the beach or at a pool.
- Enroll children older than age three in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. But keep in mind that lessons don’t make your child “drown-proof.”
- Always follow posted safety precautions when visiting water parks.
- When swimming outside, get everyone out of the water if you hear thunder or see lightning.
Teach your children these four key swimming rules:
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Don’t dive into unknown bodies of water. Jump feet first to avoid hitting your head on a shallow bottom.
- Don’t push or jump on others.
- Stay away from drains in pools and spas.