Water Safety

Beth Schloss, MDSafety, Summer

Summer is here and the pools are open!  Let’s grab our swimsuits and sunscreen and go have some fun.  Cooling off on a hot summer day at the pool/lake is always great, but we must remember how to stay safe. 

Here are a few reminders of how to keep kids safe near the water:

  • Never leave children alone in or near the water at a pool or lake, etc.
  • Young children (5 years old and under) and those who are not proficient swimmers, should always be within an arm’s reach of an adult in the water.
  • Floaties (ex. Puddle jumpers, water wings, etc) are not the same as life jackets.  An adult must still be within arm’s reach of the child in the water.
  • While boating, children (and adults!) should be wearing life jackets at all times, including on the dock or near the body of water.
  • Never swim alone in the open water, always have a swimming buddy.

Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in children 1-4 years old.  This most commonly happens during unexpected, unsupervised access to water (ie non-swim times).

  • Backyard pools need to be completely enclosed by a fence, at least 4 feet high.
  • Even baby pools and inflatable pools in the backyard are a drowning risk.  Make sure to empty water containers and pools immediately after use.
  • If a child is missing, always check pools, ponds, lakes, etc first.
  • Prevent toddlers from going outside unnoticed by using safety gates, doorknob covers, or door locks on doors leading outside.  Make sure to close doors behind you.