Thursday, September 30, 2010

Help Your Child Swim Safely

If you check online for swimming safety tips, most articles start with scary statistics that will tell you how children drown easily in under two feet of water, and how many children drown in a day and how many get treated in the ER everyday. Whether it is one child or hundred children who die every day due to drowning, numbers don’t matter. What matters is that every parent should know how to keep children safe in water and also let them enjoy their experience.

Many think that if a child knows how to swim she will be safe. Hardly! It is always better to let children swim or play in water under adult supervision. It's also better to remove children from the water before attending to distractions like phone calls or opening the door for someone. Lifejackets and floaters, although important, can never substitute for your presence. If children do not know how to swim, it is better not to let them enter the water. Teach them at least basic floating techniques before letting them enter the pool.

If you have a pool in your backyard, it is a good idea to build a fence around it. In fact, in most places, it is a requirement to build a fence according to measurements set by your local municipality. Install a kid-safety gate, which can be opened only by adults, with clear signs of “pool closed” when not in use. If you have pool covers, close them fully when you don’t want to use the pool and open the covers fully when using the pool. Even though a photo of a pool cover may boast of an elephant standing on it, discourage your children from playing on the pool cover. Safety pool supplies like floaters and life saving equipment should be kept handy near the pool, and all parents will benefit by knowing CPR.

No comments: