Summer is almost here! The official start to summer means time spent relaxing at the beach or pool. While the pool or beach is a great place to unwind, parents should be vigilant when children are swimming. As reported by USA Today, last year, an international call was made for parents to put down the phones, and focus on their children’s safety in the water. Why the concern? Countries such as Germany, the United States, and the Arab Emirates all reported an uptick in drowning deaths in 2018. German and United States law enforcement linked many of these drowning deaths to distracted adults, using their phones, and not paying attention to their children’s activities in the water. Most of these drowning deaths occurred at home swimming pools. Peter Harzeim, President of the German Federation of Swimming Pool Supervisors stated to USA Today that, “We’re experiencing on a daily basis that people treat swimming pools like a kindergarten and simply don’t pay attention.”
Children between 1-4 years of age are at a high risk of drowning. Drowning is often silent, with no cries for help, or thrashing in the water. Below are some quick tips for parents:
- Put the phone down. The text or call can wait. Your focus should be on what the kids are doing in the water.
- Avoid filling swimming pools to the maximum.
- Don’t leave children unattended. You should not be more than an arm’s length away from children swimming in the water. If you have to leave, even for a moment, everyone should be out of the water.
- Keep the pool structure closed and locked when not in use. This action will prevent children from entering the pool area and swimming without supervision.
- Children who are not yet comfortable with the water should wear a flotation device when swimming.
- Know the warning signs for drowning. If a child (or adult) is motionless in the water, can’t lift his or her head above the surface, or is not making any noise, be sure to spring into action. In most drowning cases, you may have little more than 30 seconds to reach a person who is drowning.
Following these tips will assist in making a happy and safe pool environment. Enjoy the summer!
You can check out the USA Today article here.