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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sizzling Summer: Dangerous Waters

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Photo adapted from Zanastardust

Fun in the water is the number one summertime activity and a definite must for a Sizzling Summer! It is also one of the most dangerous activities. Water-related accidents happen every day and are the second leading cause of accidental death in littles aged 1-14. Drowning can take place in as little as 1 inch of water and is usually quick (missing/out of sight for less than 5 minutes) and silent. Let me share with you some basics that will help you stay safe.

Water Safety with Littles

Constant Supervision! This is the most important and effective way to stay safe near the water. With littles, arms reach and in a position to respond quickly is imperative! Constant visual contact and not just an occasional glance will ensure that you know what is going on at all times and can react accordingly. If you have to leave the water area for any reason, take your littles with you! Never leave them alone for even a moment. We had a bathtub scare not too long ago and that serves as a reminder for me of how important this is!

Learn Basic CPR: Whether you take a course and become certified or even if you just read up on it, having a basic grasp of CPR will help you in case of an emergency. This little step may help you save a life!

Healthy Fear: Teach your children to have a healthy respect for water and the dangers it poses.

Beware Inflatable Toys: Remember that inflatable toys and water-wings are fun but they are not lifesaving devices.

Swimming Lessons: I think all children should learn to swim even if it is just a basic ‘doggie-paddle’ or knowing how to tread water. My littles haven’t reached this stage yet (10 months and 2 years) but I am going to work with my little one more this summer. A basic idea of how to keep afloat may save their life at some point!

Empty the Water: Empty wading pools, buckets and water tables after use.

Tidy the Toys: Do not leave toys near or floating in back yard pools. This entices little ones!

Be Prepared: Make sure that you have everything you need close at hand so that you do not have to leave the water area. If you have the towels, sunscreen, phone etc. with you it will help eliminate the temptation to just ‘dash’ into the house to grab something (been there!).

Water Safety Tips for the Not so Little

Never swim alone!

Feet First: When swimming in lakes, rivers etc. beware of submerged objects. Enter the water feet first. Never dive into unknown waters.

Currents: Beware of currents and avoid panic if caught in one. Panic throws logic and common sense out the window. Just remember: Do not fight the current!

Obey the Signs: At the beach, the pool, the water-park; everywhere you go there are warnings and rules posted. No diving, no running etc. Compliance with these will ensure a safer summer!

Tie Back Hair: This may seem silly but when swimming a pool, long hair can easily get sucked into filters.

Boating: When boating, ensure that you have and wear a personal floatation device. It is important that it fits and is designed support your weight. Make sure that you always tell someone where you are going.

Do you have a water safety tip? Please share, I’d love to know what has worked for you!


  1. This is a great reminder. I think the constant visual contact is key, as well as knowing CPR. My husband was in the backyard with our son when he was 18 months old. He wasn't looking at him but figured he would hear any splashes if he fell into the pool (we had just moved to our house and hadn't yet had a chance to put up a fence between pool and house). Needless to say, he didn't hear a thing, and it was a miracle that our other toddler alerted him to the fact that his brother had fallen in. And thank the good Lord, my husband knew CPR. So we had a happy ending to what could have been the biggest tragedy. So always, always keep your eyes on the little ones when they're near water!! And brush up on your CPR if you have young ones.

  2. I'm so glad you posted this. We need to respect the water. I grew up on a big lake and have had many personal tragedies in my life because of water. I am always grateful for this sort of awareness. Thank you


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