Unfortunately, this is the pain that thousands of parents experience every year due to drowning. It is certainly not from lack of care, but rather from a lack of awareness, that makes drowning so dangerous. A lot of people do not know that drowning claims more lives of children under the age of 5 than anything else in America. Many do not talk with their children about water safety. We talk about seat belts, we talk about choking hazards, and we talk about fire drills, but there is not nearly enough discussion on water safety.
Educate Yourself on Drowning Prevention
The first step in drowning prevention is awareness. Without knowing what the problems and solutions are, a parent cannot properly protect their family from danger. From supervision to swim lessons and so much more, it is crucial to be familiar with all of the steps you can take to prevent drowning. Read about other steps you can take to prevent drowning by clicking here. When you understand Water Safety, share it with your friends and family; be an ambassador and help spread awareness and make your community safer.
Set Family Rules & Expectations around Water
Tell your children they are only allowed to swim when you are with them or have given them permission to swim with another responsible adult. Set the standard that everyone in your family learns to swim at a young age. Make a rule that everyone wears a US Coast Guard approved life vest around open or moving bodies of water (ponds and oceans for example, or if you are floating a river as a family). These flotation devices should also be worn in all bodies of water until a child learns to swim, and should still be supervised even if they have life jackets.
Educate Your Kids on Pool Safety
Talk to your kids about why the pool is a place they cannot go alone. Talk about what the numbers mean on the side of the pool and how the larger numbers are for the deep end. Tell them if they ever see toys or objects in the pool to come to tell you and you can get it for them, but they are not to try to reach over the edge or try to get anything out of the pool by themselves. Make a rule for your family that there are ‘no floaties’ at the pool.
While Coast Guard approved life vests are recommended in open bodies of water, the pool is a place to focus on family and floaties provide a false sense of security for the swimmer as well as the person that should be watching them. Help your family understand how much you love the water and want them to love the water, but also how serious you are about being safe around water and following the rules around it.
Water Safety is a big, scary issue, but drowning is preventable if you take all of the steps available. Please make awareness a priority in your family and take action to fully protect those you love. Together, we can make the world a safer place.