by BreeAnn Silcox
SafeKids Bear River
As the weather heats up and more children and families head to pools and beaches, Safe Kids Bear River wants to remind parents and caregivers to keep an eye on their kids and actively supervise children at all times when they’re in and around water.
Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 19. On average, more than 1,000 children die each year due to unintentional drowning and more than 5,000 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries from near-drowning incidents.
Whether it’s a trip to Bear Lake or a dip in the community or backyard pool, you can ensure that swimming is as safe as it is fun by following a few basic safety tips starting with keeping your eyes on your kids at all times.
Studies show that although 90 percent of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge that they engage in other distracting activities talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child at the same time. Even a near-drowning incident can have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after four to six minutes under water the damage is usually irreversible.
Use these tips to keep kids safe in and around water:
- Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children in and around water, without distraction. Be aware of where your children are at all times when around water, especially open bodies of water and fast moving streams or rivers.
- Teach kids not to swim alone. Whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.
- Learn CPR. We know you have a million things to do, but learning CPR should be on the top of the list. It will give you tremendous peace of mind — and the more peace of mind you have as a parent, the better.
- Be extra careful around pool drains. Educate your children about the dangers of drain entanglement and entrapment and teach them to never play or swim near drains or suction outlets.
Safe Kids Bear River works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Safe Kids Bear River is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Bear River is led by the Bear River Health Department. For more information, visit safekids.org or call 435-792-6510.