Swimming is an activity that a lot of families enjoy, whether it’s during the summer break, a staycation, or in an inflatable pool in your house. As parents, we should be aware of how we can ensure our child’s safety whenever they’re in the water. Even at 2 inches of water, children can still be at risk of drowning.
According to UNICEF, drowning is the second leading cause of death among Filipino children under 14 years. Follow these tips to ensure your time in the water is safe and enjoyable:
- Never take your eyes off of them
When you’re on vacation or whenever you’re in nearby a pool area, ensure that you’re always watching your child and that you never take your eyes off of them. Most accidents happen because no responsible adult is watching over the child.
This tip may sound simple enough, but as you know, accidents happen all the time. The split second you take your eyes off them could be an accident waiting to happen.
- Let your kids understand basic pool etiquette
Talk to your child and ensure that they understand basic pool rules, such as no running in the pool area, avoiding the shallow area when diving, or not forcing someone who can’t swim to go to in the deep water. If you foster this kind of mindset with them whenever they’re in the water, they are less likely to get into an accident or cause harm to other people.
- Understand that drowning can be silent
When we think about someone drowning, we imagine someone yelling for help with arms flailing in the air, but that’s not usually what happens in real life, especially with kids. The truth is, drowning can be fatal fast, which can all happen in just 30 seconds.
In some cases, drowning is silent, and a child struggling may not look like it as it looks like ordinary water play. Pull your child out of the water immediately when you see signs of distress.
- Check the layout of the pool
If you’ll be swimming in a pool that’s unfamiliar to you, it’s advisable for parents to check the depth of water and the layout of the pool before letting your kids get in it. Some pools have uneven floors, which can be a cause of injury or drowning. If you’re on the beach, be mindful of the tide and rip currents.
- Get your children some lessons
The best way to ensure that your child is water confident is by enrolling them in a swimming class. Some swimming classes offer basic personal survival lessons for children. Swimming lessons are also a great way to help them become comfortable with water and learn a valuable life skill.
Whenever your in or near the water, make sure to follow these tips so that you can avoid the unexpected. Always keep a watchful eye on your child and make sure that you can easily reach out to them when you need to pull them out, the seconds you save could be the difference needed to protect your child from injury or death.