Water safety is something that should be in the forefront of every parent’s mind. Whether you have a pool, love the water park, visit the beach, or go swimming in your local lake or river, being safe on and near the water is crucial. All it takes is a few seconds for a tragedy to happen. Parents and caregivers can keep kids safe by making sure we practice proper water safety at all times.
Why Water Safety is so Important
Our kids were babies when we began swimming lessons through the Red Cross Canada program. Swimming is a lifeskill that is not negotiable for me. I was a late swimmer and I missed a lot of fun as a kid, but eventually I learned to love swimming and respect the water too. As a parent I loved that Red Cross also taught my kids first aid and rescue related to swimming pools.
We have a pool, and I am vigilant about water safety. Even though both of my daughters are older and both know how to swim well, I don’t allow pool time without adult supervision. Ever. I know all it takes is one accident to change our lives, or our daughter’s friends lives, forever. They may know how to swim, but what if they fall? What if they trip? Half of my job is watching them and reminding them, even as teens, that we walk on the deck. And I remind them often what is safe and what is not.
Both my husband and I are often nearby reminding kids please jump safely. Jump into the deep end. No diving unless in the deep end. And don’t horse around like that in the deep end please. One person at a time on the diving board and there’s no clowning around on the diving board either. Sometimes I sounds like a broken record but water safety is extremely important.
Having a backyard in ground pool is amazing. It is my favourite place to be in the summer months. It is also a magnet for kids, both friends, family members and neighbours. That makes me happy, but when the kid’s friends are over I feel even more responsibility to supervise.
There are a million potential chances to be hurt near water, and being there to supervise is the only real way to be sure I’m prepared for any of them. Unfortunately, too many water incidents and drownings happen every year here in Canada.
Did you know that of all the drowning deaths in pools and natural bodies of water here in Canada, 1 in 5 of them are children? Sadly, according to drowning statistics from 2009 to 2014, an average of 35 children aged 1 to 14 died by drowning each year while playing in or around water. That’s 35 young lives cut short.
How to Practice Proper Water Safety
There are a number of ways that we as parents and caregivers can help protect our children while they play in or around water. By taking these steps, we can drastically reduce the likelihood that our children will become one of those 35 children who die from drowning each year.
- Always supervise all water play
- Know how to perform a safe water rescue
- Enroll children in Red Cross swimming lessons
- Enroll yourself in Red Cross swimming lessons if you can’t swim or are a weak swimmer
- Properly fence in and secure backyard pools
- Use self-latching gates on fences and keep pool decks clear of toys and debris
- Don’t drink alcohol while enjoying the water
- Actively monitor children
- Have young children and those who can’t swim or are weak swimmers wear life jackets
- Take the kids with you if you have to step away for even a few seconds
- Drain kiddie pools when not supervised
Our family loves the water and we travel a fair bit too. So the water safety rules apply just as much when we travel. Waterslides, and beaches can be a load of fun. But safety first.
Proper Water Safety Prevents Tragedy
All it takes is a few seconds to lose a child to drowning. Small children can drown in wading pools. 10 cms of water can be fatal for an infant. It’s imperative that we do everything we can to proactively prevent these types of deaths, and we can. By following the tips above, we can ensure that we practice proper water safety and keep our children safe while they enjoy the water. For more information on water safety, visit redcross.ca today.
This post has been sponsored by Red Cross Canada, and as such I have been compensated. My opinion is all my own and it is also truthful.