How Kids Can Avoid Playground Hazards
Swimming and child safety in water is crucial if you don’t want to turn what should have been a fun activity into a death trap – drowning. With the soaring heat, pools, lakes, and beaches offer cool relief from the hot weather. But water can also be dangerous for children if you don’t take proper precautions. And most drownings occur in swimming pools. However, you can forestall tragedy by taking steps that will keep kids safe in the water. Likewise, make sure that they take the right safety measures even when left on their own.
Teach Your Child Water Dos & Don’ts
Outside the home, your awareness can go a long way in preventing accidents. For instance, find out where the water hazards in your neighborhood are. And if you are on the outskirts for a family celebration, look out for ponds or creeks that might attract children. Also, inform neighbours who have open water wells that you have a young child. Equally, ask them to keep the wells closed and padlocked.
Kids should not run or push around the pool and should never dive in areas that are not marked for diving. If the weather turns bad, especially with lightning, get them out of the pool immediately. Let them also know they should contact the lifeguard or an adult if there is an emergency.
Above all, supervise your children at all times. Do not take for granted that just because your child took swimming lessons or is using a flotation device there is no drowning risk. If you are at a party, it is very easy to become distracted. So assign an adult who will be responsible for watching the children. If you leave your child with the babyminder, make sure he or she knows your rules for the pool.
Seconds count when it comes to water emergencies. Hence it is a good idea to take a mobile phone with you when you are watching your children swim. If you receive a call while supervising your children, make your conversation brief to keep you from being distracted.
At Lakes, Ponds, or Beaches
First, teach your child never to swim alone. Make sure your child understands that swimming in a pool is different than swimming in a lake or the ocean. Because there are different hazards for each. Here are some tips:
At the Lake or Pond
- Do not let your child swim without adult supervision. For example, lakes or ponds may be shallow near the bank and then increase in depth sharply as the child moves further out into the water.
- Ponds and lakes may hide jagged rocks, broken glass, or trash.
- Make sure your child wears foot protection, like aqua socks or water shoes, even while in the water.
- Watch out for weeds and grass that could entangle your child’s leg or arm.
- Assign a designated driver who would not drink when you and your family are boating. This is because most boating accidents among teenagers are alcohol-related. As such be sure your teen knows about the dangers of alcohol, on and off the water.
- Teach your children proper pool and spa behavior, and make sure that you take the right precautions, too.
At the Beach
- Let your child always swim when and where a lifeguard is on duty. Do not swim close to piers or pilings since sudden water movements may cause your child to collide with them.
- Unlike the calm waters of a swimming pool, the beach has special dangers like currents and tides. Check with the lifeguard when you arrive to find out about the water conditions.
- Stop your child from swimming in large waves or undertows. And tell your child never to back the water. For the reason that a sudden wave can easily knock your child over.
- Teach your child that if caught in a rip current or undertow, the best thing to do is to swim parallel to the shore. Or tread water and call out for the lifeguard’s help.
- The stings of jellyfish can be painful. Therefore, advise your child to avoid them in the water. But immediately inform an adult right away if stung.
Water Park Safety
Water parks can be a lot of fun for kids, as long as you keep safety in mind. Before you go, make sure qualified lifeguards monitor the park. Once there, read all posted signs before letting your child on any rides. Many rides have age, height, weight, or health requirements. Teach your child to follow all rules and directions. Such as walking instead of running. Or always going down the water slide in the right position – feet first and face up. An approved life jacket is a good idea, too.
Know which rides are appropriate for your child’s age and development. For example, wave pools can quickly go from calm to rough, and be overwhelming for even a good swimmer. While older kids’ splashing and roughhousing can intimidate younger children.
What To Do In An Emergency
Whenever a child is missing, always check the pool first. Survival depends on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible.
If you find a child in the water, immediately get the child out while calling out loud for help. Check to ensure the child’s air passages are clear. If the child is not breathing, immediately administer CPR as necessary.
If after a minute you cannot get the child to breathe, get medical help and then continue administering CPR. If your child does start breathing, lay the child on his or her side. This helps keep the airway open and allows fluids to drain so that the child doesn’t choke.
Water play can be a great source of fun and exercise. However, remember you will enjoy the water experience more by knowing and practicing these safety precautions. And to avoid fatal accidents, instruct your child to stay away from water without your supervision.
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