Water Safety

Parents of toddlers know that water safety is an important issue to address! Many children will not learn to swim in their toddler years and even early swimmers are vulnerable to drowning.

In fact a CDC report says that drowing kills more American children between the ages of 1to 4 than any other cause besides birth defects! And many children who experience near-drowning incidents suffer from brain damage afterwards.

Every parent needs to know general safety tips around water and if you own a pool, hot tub, or spa there are extra precautions to take!

General Water Safety Tips for Toddler Parents:

  • Never leave toddler unattended around water: Toddlers can drowned in only a few inches of water. It’s important to watch them around any type of water whether it be a small child’s pool, a ditch, a puddle, the toilet, the bathtub, a bucket of water, ice chest, etc.
  • Know who is in charge of watching the toddler: Sometimes in large friend or family gatherings the responsibility of watching the children is shared by many. Even though everyone may be keeping a general watch on the children make sure there is always a specific person watching a toddler. Otherwise a toddler could be overlooked and in danger of drowning.
  • Learn to swim yourself: If you can’t swim yourself, or at least not well enough to jump in and save your toddler, it’s a good idea to learn. Many places offer adult swim lessons, or get a friend who is a strong swimmer to teach you! You never know when it will come in handy.
  • Make sure all floatation devices are the appropriate size: Many toddlers love floating in the water. If you are going to let your toddler use a floatation device, make sure it is the right size for your toddler. Otherwise your toddler’s head and face could still end up in the water. And remember to keep a vigilant eye on your toddler even with a floatation device on!
  • Teach your child to never enter water without an adult: Repetition is key in toddler learning, so remind them often stay out of water without an adult!
  • Always drain the small inflatable or kiddie pools when not in use!
  • Learn CPR: Be prepared so that you can help your child if the need arises!
  • Always have a phone outside while watching swimmers: In a drowning accident, timing is everything. The sooner you can get help the better, so have phone on hand from the start!
  • Teach your child water safety tips: Teach them to never push others in water, to never run near a pool and to never try to grab a toy that is in the pool.

Water Safety Tips for Pool/ Hot Tub/ Pond Owners

If you own a pool, hot tub, pond or other structure that constantly has water in it, you need follow extra water safety precautions to keep your toddler safe!

  • Install a fence around your pool/pond/hot tub that is at least 4 ft high. Many times in drowning accidents the parents are not even aware that their child sneaked out. Having a fence will at least slow them down if not prevent them from getting into the water.
  • Keep gate latched even in winter: toddlers may walk on a pool cover and fall in and get stuck under it in the winter when the pool in not in use.
  • Make sure filters have proper covers: A filter that’s not covered could suck in someones hair, posing a drowning risk.
  • Have emergency flotation devices on hand
  • Always have a phone outside while watching swimmers: In a drowning accident, timing is everything. The sooner you can get help the better, so have phone on hand from the start!
  • Don’t leave toys in the pool: A toddler may fall in trying to get them out.

CPR for a Drowning Toddler

Parents of toddlers should take a CPR class. CPR may be necessary one day, and could be useful for more than just a drowning accident.

Here is a webite that offers an overview of CPR for a drowning child, giving instructions on how to do CPR on an infant all the way to an 8 yr old child: Infant/Child CPR

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