The American Red Cross is providing safety tips for parents and their children before the summer swimming session begins. The tips that the Red Cross recommends are:
1. Unexperienced Swimmers Should Wear Life Jackets
Unexperienced swimmers or young children should wear lifejackets that have been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. These lifejackets should be worn when the child is around bodies of water whether or not they plan on swimming.
Note: Lifejackets should not be the only thing relied upon.
Floatation devices and other measures, for smaller children, should be taken. Parents should be in the pool or water with their children until they properly know how to swim. Children must be supervised. Parents that are relying on the other parent to watch the child should make sure that they have an open line of communication.
Oftentimes, drowning in a private pool occurs when both parents are present.
Dad may think mom is watching the child, or mom may think dad is watching the child, and in just five minutes, the child has drowned in the pool. Call 9-1-1 immediately if your child is unconscious even if you know CPR.
2. Lifeguards Help, But Private Swimming Pools are the Concern
Lifeguards prevent deaths every single day, but there are still 100+ drownings each year even when a lifeguard is present. The presence of a lifeguard helps protect swimmers, but private pools are much more dangerous than even swimming in the ocean.
“Nationwide, it is estimated that each year more than 100 drownings occur when a lifeguard is present. Of all childhood drowning fatalities, over 60% occur within swimming pools and not in open water. This makes swimming in a pool more dangerous than boating or a summertime swim at the beach,” explains Mainor Wirth Injury Lawyers.
Parents that have swimming pools should keep the pool fenced off and locked so that children cannot enter the pool unsupervised.
3. Enroll Everyone in Swimming Classes
If a child knows how to swim, the risk of drowning goes down drastically. Everyone in the family should be enrolled in learn-to-swim courses. Children and adults that know how to swim are less likely to drown.
Ocean current can still pull the most experienced swimmer under the water, making it difficult or impossible to swim.
Swimming courses greatly lower the risk of drowning, but for kids, they should also be accompanied with basic safety guidelines that children should follow.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Kids
It takes a split second for a kid to get pulled under the water and drown. It’s those vital seconds that matter the most. If your kids are missing or you cannot find them, you should check the water first.
Waiting or wasting time looking for the child on land is often the worst idea.
Alert a lifeguard, if they’re present, and then check the water. Better yet, keep an eye on your kids at all time. Don’t stare into the cell phone and lose track of your child. Even when at home, the average parent loses sight of their child for five minutes – enough time for them to drown.