School is almost out, and I know that kids love to hit the pool, lake or beach during their summer vacations. I urge all adults to follow the following water safety tips to ensure a safe and memorable summer:
- Never leave children alone in or near water, even a shallow wading pool. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water and it can happen in a matter of seconds. A child will lose consciousness two minutes after submersion, with irreversible brain damage occurring within four to six minutes.
- Assign a “water watcher” who knows how to swim and can provide supervision of children in the water.
- Place pool safety barriers, such as isolation fences, self-closing and self-latching locks, and pool covers, between your child and the pool.
- Never assume your child is “drown-proof,” even if the child has had swimming lessons.
- Place a phone, life-saving ring and shepherds hook at poolside.
- Remove toys in and around the pool when it’s not in use to avoid any temptation for your child.
- Drain waters from wading pools and water buckets when not being used.
- Flotation devices, such as water wings, are considered toys and are not a substitute for adult supervision.
- Water safety also includes sun safety. Make sure your children are wearing waterproof sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Protect feet from hot sand and sharp objects by having them wear water-safe shoes.
To learn more about water safety or to have a staff member from CHOC Children’s Community Education Department come to your group of parents and caregivers of children under the age of 5, please call 714-532-8887. This program is generously provided by the CA Kids Plate Program.