With warm weather, thoughts will turn to travel, fishing and swimming. Many of our summer leisure activities involve water and require a splash of reality. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental childhood death. It only takes a few seconds and can happen by falling into a stream or playing in a kiddie pool. When you think water, think safety!
Nothing Replaces Supervision:
Always provide adult supervision for children around water. Enroll your children in swimming lessons with qualified instructors, but remember that lessons won't make your child "drown-proof." Even strong swimmers can drown.
Rivers and Lakes:
The cold swift water running in streams, ditches and rivers can easily sweep a person, especially a child, away in seconds. When you are fishing, hiking or are involved in any stream side activities, it is extremely important to stay conscious of the danger at all times.
As any parent has experienced, it is easy to be distracted or interrupted while visually supervising your child. If you have a toddler, a portable playpen may be an essential part of your gear.
As children get older, they become more adventurous. Moving water can be a fascinating but deadly attraction. Before you take your children to a lake or river, inform them of the possible hazards and develop a family safety plan. This may involve a buddy system of supervision, defined boundaries of activity and the use of life jackets on the water's edge.
Many parents limit family fishing trips to lakes while their children are small and still learning water safety basics. A child wearing a life jacket lakeside is much safer than one playing at the edge of a swiftly moving river.
We tend to be more casual with safety around the home than in any other setting. In actuality, your child's backyard wading pool may pose a real safety risk. We often attempt to do many things at once...cook, answer the phone, weed the garden. While your child is in a wading pool, bring out the cordless phone in case it rings, put your feet up and relax with your child. The break will be good for you and ensures your child's safety.