Young children love water. Swimming or playing in water can be fun for everybody, as well as great exercise. But water safety for kids depends on you or another grown-up always watching your child when he’s in, on or around any water. Drowning can happen quickly and quietly.
Drowning and drowning prevention: what you need to know
Drowning is the number one cause of death for children under five. Babies and toddlers are top-heavy, which makes them susceptible to drowning. If a baby falls into even shallow water, she can’t always lift herself out.
Drowning can occur quickly and quietly, without any warning noises.
In Australia, children under five drown in:
- Swimming pools (14 children drowned in pools in 2017-18)
- Baths (three children drowned in the bath in 2017-18)
- Rivers, creeks and oceans (four children drowned in a river or the ocean in 2017-18)
- Dams and lakes (five children drowned in dams in 2017-18).
Children also drown in less obvious locations, like nappy buckets, water tanks, water features and fishponds – even pets’ water bowls. For every drowning, approximately three other children are hospitalised from non-fatal drowning incidents. Some of these result in severe brain damage.
Water safety for kids: the basics
It’s important to always stay with your child and watch him whenever he’s near water – even when he can swim.
Supervision means constant visual contact with your child and keeping her within arm’s reach at all times.
You should be in a position to respond quickly, whether you’re at the beach or the swimming pool, near dams, rivers and lakes, or at home when the bath or spa is full. Hold your child’s hand when you’re near waves or paddling in rivers.
Supervision is not an occasional glance while you nap, read or do household chores. It is not watching your kids playing outside while you’re inside. It is always best for an adult, not an older child, to supervise.
You can also teach your child about water safety and how to swim. Many children can learn to swim by the time they’re four or five.
First aid is an essential skill for the entire family to learn. Learning CPR and what to do in an emergency could save your child’s life.
At Tiny Scholars we ensure that all our staff are qualified in first Aid and CPR training. We also involve water safety in our curriculum with all the children to ensure they also take responsibility for their own health and well being and make informed decisions regarding home pools and any water play.
Please take time to read more on water safety around the house. During summer we spend an increased amount of time around water, we allow our children to play in water to cool off. Be aware and be vigilant and enjoy your summer! Click here to read the rest of this article.
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