Swimming is a staple summer activity for people of all ages. There have been several headlines recently of young children drowning under their parent’s supervision but it’s important to remember that anyone can drown in any body of water.
Here are some tips to ensure safe swimming:
- Never swim alone
- Watch for currents, waves, and underwater obstructions if swimming in lakes, rivers, streams, or the ocean
- Teach children to always ask permission to go near water
- Never leave a child unattended
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water
- If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Mere seconds can be the difference between life and death
- As many as 69% of young children who are found drowned or submerged in pools were not expected to be in or near the pool.
- Learn CPR and basic first aid
- Know how and when to call 911 for help
It may also be smart to enroll your children in swimming lessons to ensure they know the basics of keeping themselves safe in water.
While you should never rely on a life jacket to keep you or your child safe, they do save lives. Small children should wear a life jacket anytime they are near water, but everyone should wear a life jacket if participating in any kind of water sport or on in open water.
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A proper life jacket should:
- Be U.S. Coast Guard approved
- Fit the intended user, the label will include size and weight limits
- Have fully functioning buckles and straps
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