For all the beachy joys of summer, it’s also a season of tragic drownings. And this year’s statistics are more horrifying than ever. Most recently, two toddlers died in a Las Vegas pool last week.
So if your family is headed for the seashore, a lake or anyplace with any body of water, please take a moment to read through these five water safety tips from InfantSwim.com, then click over to the National Weather Service site for tips on surviving riptides.
1. Never turn your back on your child around water. At the beach, it’s important that the supervising adult is no farther away than 10 feet from a young child.
Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is responsible for watching the child and be aware of the distractions unique to the beach/shore setting: heat, noise, people-watching, sun glare and the monotony of a young child’s repetitive play. Even professional beach lifeguards guard the beach in timed segments ... you should, too.
2. Dress your child in bright colors when going to the lake or the beach. Use a consistent bright color and style of swimsuit so all family members have a consistent image of what the child is wearing.
3. Bring a cell phone — just tuck it in a plastic bag to protect it.
4. Paint or create a “go no further line” on the dock or the beach.
5. Life jackets must be worn in a boat or around the water, but life jackets are not a substitute for the ability to swim nor for adult supervision. Do not rely on floaties, inflatable rings, etc., which provide a false sense of security for parents and children. These items can easily deflate or fall off your children’s arms, leaving them in a potentially dangerous situation.