Well, it’s here…summer, that is, and with summer comes lots of swimming! Swimming at the pool, swimming at the beach, swimming at the lake. Wherever you are swimming this summer, one thing is for sure…you want everyone to have fun but most importantly to be safe!
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of reported fatal child drownings in swimming pools involving children younger than 5—the most vulnerable population—has decreased 17 percent nationwide since 2010. This news is awesome; however, these drownings are still happening. Drowning is still the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death according to the World Health Organization. Here are a few tips from Ashley McKay, the Aquatic Recreation Supervisor at Jack Carter Pool in Plano, on how to keep your little ones safe this summer.
- Designate a Water Watcher! A Water Watcher is someone whose only job is to watch the kids in the water, never leaving them unattended or getting distracted by phones or conversations with others. Many drownings happen while adults are there but are distracted or think someone else is watching them.
- Proper flotation devices need to be used. Life jackets should be Coast Guard approved. This will ensure that if the person wearing it were to go unconscious, the jacket would flip them onto their backs to help prevent drowning. Puddle Jumpers are great for little ones that can’t yet swim but want to be independent in the water.
- Take swim lessons! One of the biggest ways to prevent drownings is getting your kids into swim lessons. Lessons help reduce the risk of drowning by 88%. Every year there is an event called The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson. Over the course of 24 hours, aquatic facilities throughout 20 countries on 5 continents will host a free swim lesson to encourage and introduce swimming lessons to those who may not have had the chance to take one before. The goal is to spread the message that “swimming lessons save lives” to more than 1 billion people by 2019. This will be the 8th year for the event and will be held on June 22, 2017. The city of Plano is participating by hosting the lesson at Jack Carter Pool. Click here for more info about this event!
One of Ashley’s favorite resources is poolsafely.gov. On this site is a pledge that you and your kids can take promising to be pool safe. So, have fun and be safe this summer!