### Ensure Your Kids’ Safety in the Pool This Summer

Kids necessitate continuous supervision in and around water, emphasizing the critical importance of water safety, whether in bathtubs or public pools. Here are some guidelines to help ensure your children’s safety.

With summer approaching, the allure of water activities intensifies alongside the rising temperatures. It’s time to initiate swimming lessons.

Even if your children have received swimming instruction in the past and exhibited strong swimming skills last year, it’s crucial to review water safety protocols regularly.

Identifying Risks

In the United States, unintentional drowning claims the lives of 10 individuals daily and stands as the second leading cause of death among children aged 1-14.

It is imperative to consistently reinforce water safety practices with your children, whether at the pool or beach, regardless of their swimming proficiency level. Just as reminding them to look both ways before crossing the street is vital, reinforcing water safety rules is equally crucial.

Vigilance is particularly essential in public pool settings where monitoring children can be challenging.

The Importance of Swimming Lessons

According to the CDC, participation in swimming lessons can reduce a child’s risk of drowning by 88% between the ages of one and four. Mastery of fundamental survival skills such as turning onto their backs in water may take toddlers months or even years.

While learning these survival skills demands patience and perseverance, swimming lessons can be beneficial if you have access to them. Alternatively, if formal lessons are not an option, you can delay the start until your child is older. Properly fitted puddle jumpers or life jackets are effective in ensuring water safety.

Maintaining Close Supervision

While swimming lessons provide valuable skills, they should not instill a false sense of security in parents or children. It is a misconception that reduced supervision is warranted post-lessons.

Children must always be closely monitored in water due to the unpredictable nature of aquatic environments. Even when you believe your children are safe, drowning incidents can occur rapidly, especially as parents can easily become distracted.

A child can drown within moments if left unattended in water. Prioritize removing children from the water before attending to other matters, as even brief distractions can pose significant risks.

For utmost safety, parents should stay within arm’s reach of their children at all times. Even shallow backyard pools can pose a threat to young children.

Children often mirror their parents’ attitudes towards water, with parental apprehension potentially heightening a child’s fear. While awareness of water dangers is crucial, excessive caution may exacerbate a child’s anxiety.

Despite being cautious, there is no benefit in overreacting to potential risks. Most children eventually develop a positive relationship with water, despite initial hesitations.

If your child lacks swimming experience or needs a refresher, consider enrolling them in swimming lessons. Children’s swimming abilities vary widely, and periodic lessons may be necessary to maintain proficiency. The value of safeguarding a child’s life far outweighs the investment in swimming instruction.

Recognizing the Signs of Drowning

Contrary to media portrayals, individuals in distress often do not exhibit loud screams or vigorous splashing while drowning. Drowning individuals may struggle silently, displaying minimal progress despite appearing to swim.

Typical signs of drowning include the mouth positioned near the water’s surface, arms extended in front or to the sides, and legs hanging beneath the water. Even in a state of panic, drowning victims may exhibit a calm demeanor.

Hence, continuous parental supervision remains paramount, even in the presence of lifeguards.

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