Water safety tips
By Dr. Amit Jain, MD FAAP MBA | Pediatrician
The summer is here and it is time to have some fun in the sun, and in the water. NOAH’s Pediatric team wants you to have a fun summer in the sun and in the water so here are some water safety tips!
Swimming is a great way to beat the summer heat here in Arizona and is a fun, healthy way to enjoy summer. However, water safety and drowning prevention are CRITICAL! Drowning is a very common cause of accidental, injury related deaths. Kids between 1 and 4 are at the highest risk.
- Never leave children alone – even for a moment – in or near pool areas or other bodies of water (lakes, beaches, and even bathtubs or buckets of water!)
- Install a fence at least 4 feet tall around the pool, which should ideally surround the pool on all sides and completely separate the pool from your home and yard. It should not have any gaps that a small child could slip over, under, or through. The gate should be a self-closing and self-latching gate that cannot be opened / reached by a small child.
- Newer technology offers alarms, both for the gate and the pool that alerts you to anyone around the pool.
- If an unexperienced swimmer is near the pool, make sure there is a designated adult for supervision. This adult should not be under the influence of alcohol or anything else, should not have any distractions (cell phone turned off or handed off to another adult), and preferably knows how to swim and perform CPR.
- Keep rescue equipment such as a shepherd’s hook and a life preserver to reach / throw for rescues.
- Avoid inflatable swim aids such as floaties, as they are not a substitution for proper life-preserving equipment such as life jackets.
- Start swimming lessons early! Consider swim lessons for your child around age 1, but definitely by age 4. It may reduce the risk of drowning. Some neighborhoods that have pools have frequent swim classes for all ages.
- Infant swim lessons are not advised because there is no evidence that swim lessons reduce a child’s risk of drowning under age 1 year old.
- Talk to your pool operator to make sure your pool / spa and its drains are compliant with the pool and spa safety act.
- Be safe and have a fun-filled summer!
Looking for more water safety tips? Check out the Red Cross’ tips to help you and your family have a fun and safe summer.