8 Water Safety Tips for Parents

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Most drownings happen in residential swimming pools. But children can drown in just one inch of water (such as in buckets, bathtubs, wading pools, diaper pails, toilets, hot tubs and spas). In addition, open waters, such as oceans, rivers and lakes, pose a drowning threat to older children. Most children who survive being submerged in water without brain damage are discovered within two minutes.

Parents are advised to take the following preventive steps to protect their children from drowning:

Mom and daughter sitting by a pool.
  1. Never leave your child unsupervised near water at or in the home, or around any body of water, including a swimming pool of any size or depth.
  2. Don't rely on personal flotation devices (PFDs) or swimming lessons to protect your child. 
  3. Install childproof fencing around swimming pools. The fencing should be at least four feet high and have a self-closing latch that is out of the reach of children.
  4. Give your child swim lessons at the earliest age they can handle such lessons.
  5. Make sure you have rescue equipment, a phone and emergency phone numbers near the swimming pool.
  6. Insist that your child wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device on boats at all times.
  7. Don't allow children to dive in shallow or unfamiliar waters. Always have children enter water feet-first. Diving in shallow water can cause permanent physical disabilities or death.
  8. Always be prepared in the case of an emergency. Sign up today for one of our virtual or in-person Infant Safety & CPR classes designed for expectant and new parents, grandparents and family members to learn infant CPR, safety and injury prevention.
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