You love water in the summertime? We do, too. So here are some water safety tips to help keep you safe.
One of the most enjoyable parts of summer has to do with water – at the beach or at the pool – for many people. Growing up in British Columbia, we've usually not been far from water so summer safety and water safety are synonymous.
In Vancouver we all head for the beaches, and in the Okanagan, there are lakes everywhere, filled with people swimming, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking...well, you name it.
Beaches and pools are synonymous with summer where ever you live. However, the fact is that 90% of all kids who drown are under four years of age; and this is just in backyard pools.
To make this an enjoyable and safe summer, here are water safety tips:
Water Safety At The Pool:
1. Make sure you lock the entrance to your pool. Keep it fenced in, so kids can’t access it, and if possible, locked, so no one uninvited can either.
2. After your children are finished playing in the wading pool, drain it, and store it away.
3. If you have toddlers who are playing in a wading pool and you also have an infant to look after, make sure you have a safe bed or playpen where, if you have to, you can put the youngest children while you help the ones in the pool. Better yet, have another adult there. Kids act fast, you need to be able to re-act quickly.
4. NEVER let children in a pool without an adult who can swim in the pool with them.
5. If you have toys in your backyard pool, make sure you take them out, and put them away.
6. Always have a cell phone available near the pool.
7. When at the beach, only swim where lifeguards are visible.
8. Stay out of the water if you notice strong winds.
9. Always stay within sight of the lifeguard. Be aware of any signs posted on the beach regarding restricted areas.
10. If you see a lifeguard signaling you to come out of the water, do so immediately.
11. It would be advantageous to take a CPR course, in case of a potential drowning. Let me rephrase this: TAKE A CPR COURSE.
Water Safety At The Beach:
1. When at the beach, only swim where lifeguards are visible.
2. Stay out of the water if you notice strong winds.
3. Always stay within sight of the lifeguard.
4. Be aware of any signs posted on the beach regarding restricted areas.
5. If you use a flotation device, ensure you are in control of it. If you put your child on one, make sure you are holding onto it or have a rope attached that you are holding onto. Think this is TOO fussy?
I watched a young father put his 3 year old daughter on an air mattress at the lake, he turned his back for a moment and she was almost out of reach in deep water. It took 2 fathers and more effort than they could have imagined to swim out and retrieve her. I won't even describe the anguish of her mom holding an infant on shore and feeling helpless.
6. If you bring your kids to the beach, always keep them close, and within sight. It only takes a few inches of water - and a few seconds - for a child to drown. (It’s also an easy place for the wrong kind of strangers to hang out.)
7. If you are not a good swimmer, stay close to shore.
8. Be aware of riptides that can pull you out to sea.
9. Keep your eyes open for jellyfish, or other dangerous sea animals.
10. If you see someone who is drowning, alert the lifeguard right away.
11. If you have toys in your backyard pool, make sure you take them out, and put them away.
12. Buy flotation devices for your kids.
13. If you see a lifeguard signaling you to come out of the water, do so immediately.
No matter how diligent you may be, there is always the possibility of something going wrong. Whether enjoying the pool or the beach, it just takes a matter of minutes for any type of situation to emerge.
Be careful, be cautious, and watch your kids like a hawk!
Then you will really enjoy your summer or vacation.
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