Most parents are pretty vigilant about watching kids closely when swimming or near a pool or the ocean. But there is just as much of a drowning risk for small children when you aren’t swimming, and because parents aren’t as aware of the risks it is probably even more dangerous.
As parents, we’ve educated ourselves on water safety while in the water, the signs of drowning, what to do during a potential drowning emergency – but it’s also vital to be aware of accidents that can happen even if you’re not actively swimming. Whether that is being in proximity of an accessible pool, the bathtub, or even a bucket of water it is imperative to be aware of any potential drowning hazards. Young kids need only seconds and 2 inches of water to drown. That means drowning can happen where you’d least expect it — the sink, the toilet, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rainwater. It really is that easy. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help prevent drowning when you aren’t actively swimming from our friends at Goldfish Swim School:
- Talk about water safety: Whether you’re at your home or someone else’s with a pool, if you’re on vacation at the beach or at a hotel with a pool. Even if you’re not swimming, talk about water safety so it’s on everyone’s mind.
- Have proper safety features: This includes lifejackets, locks on pool gates, floatation devices, and a nearby phone for emergencies. Pro tip: There are apps that teach children how to call 911 on a smartphone and allow them to practice this.
- Know how to swim: For you and your children! Should an accident happen, the ability to stay above water longer aids in rescue.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is updating the protocol and recommendations to help prevent drowning in children. Some of the updates include encouraging parents to be diligent at bath time, to empty all buckets and wading pools immediately after use, to make sure children and teens are wearing life jackets near open bodies of water, and more. The AAP is also recommending swim lessons for all children over the age of 1.
We’ve been taking lessons at Goldfish Swim School for a year and my kids have come such a long way. They can all swim to some degree, can flip to their back and backfloat, can hold their breath underwater, and my older two can tread water for a good period of time. Most importantly, they have learned lifesaving skills and are also aware of water safety precautions and the importance of being vigilant near any small body of water.
We have taken swim lessons at a couple different places over the years and GSS is by far the best place we’ve been. If you have a Goldfish location local to you, I can’t recommend them enough!
Oh Lovely Day is a partner with Goldfish Swim School. We’re happy to partner with them to spread water safety awareness to our own kids and yours.