Tomorrow, June 20th marks the first day of summer this year, and with summer comes the excitement of backyard barbeques, camping excursions, and trips to beaches and pools. Before your first cannonball into the water this season though, make sure to be mindful of water safety to ensure you and your family stay out of harm’s way.
Some tips for staying safe in and around the water:
- Learn to swim, and make sure kids learn too
- Make sure all kids wear life jackets around natural bodies of water, such as lakes
- Use life jackets in and around pools too for weaker and younger swimmers
- Choose swimming sites that have lifeguards
- Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult
- Make sure older children swim with a partner every time
- Don’t let children play around drains and suction fittings
- Drowning happens quickly- Be on the lookout at all times
- If a child is missing, check the water first
- Learn CPR
Water safety is imperative. Drownings are a leading cause of unintentional death in children 1 to 14 years old. Every day, about ten people die in the United States from unintentional drowning, two of these are children under the age of 15. For every one child that dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.
Those with home pools should take extra precautions to protect their children.
Some additional tips for safety around home swimming pools:
- Install a four-sided fence around the pool that is at least four feet high and has self-closing and self-latching gates
- Consider installing alarms on the gates
- If the house serves as the fourth side of the fence, install an alarm on the exit door from the house to the pool and install window guards on windows facing the pool
- Don’t leave toys out by the pool, as these can entice kids to come and get them
- Keep rescue equipment such as a shepherd’s hook near the pool
- Never allow children to play near the pool without supervision
On top of being mindful of water safety when you’re at the pool this year, there is a new harm to be aware of- coronavirus. Coronavirus is not likely to spread in the pool water, thanks to disinfecting chemicals such as chlorine. There is still a lot unknown about coronavirus though, including whether it can spread in saltwater or freshwater. Experts also do not know yet whether or not the virus will weaken with the summer heat, so observing social distancing basics is also important as you enjoy summer activities.
Some tips for having corona-free fun at the pool:
- Stay at least six feet away from others if you can
- If it’s too crowded to find your own space when you get there, come back later
- Wear a face mask when on land, but not in the water
- Wash your hands frequently
- Bring your own disinfectant wipes to clean your seats when you arrive
- Don’t share goggles and other pool toys and gear with others outside your family
- Bring your own towels
Help ensure your trips to the pool this summer are fun and refreshing by staying safe!
Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash