Children just love water. For them, a day on the beach or by the pool is something to look forward to. Despite this, however, water presents a lot of danger to people of all ages, children in particular. Drowning remains a very real concern in and outside the home, especially for families that live near bodies of water.
What can parents do to reduce the risk of drowning in their home and during holidays? Here are 8 action points for anyone who’s tasked with watching over children:
1. Learn first aid
First aid can spell the difference between life and death, and it can immensely help in case drowning does occur within your vicinity. Parents can easily learn CPR by attending a first aid training course in Perth or any nearby city. This way, they’ll be equipped with the right mindset, skills, and knowledge needed to calmly and quickly respond to cases of emergency.
2. Discuss water safety with the family
Everyone in the family, including the kids, should be informed about water safety. Parents and children can enroll in water familiarisation classes where they can learn about setting and following safety rules around bodies of water. At home, parents can also practice and review water safety rules during bath and play time.
3. Teach kids how to swim
Swimming lessons can make children more confident around water. It is said to reduce the risk of drowning among young children by 88%. However, even if your child knows how to swim, this does not necessarily mean they are no longer at risk of drowning; parents should still keep an eye out for their children whenever they are near a body of water.
It’s an absolute must for parents to actively watch out for their children in the tub, pool, or on the beach. Never let the kids out of sight while you’re in the pool area or near water. In large gatherings, you can take turns watching the kids. Make sure that the adult supervising the children has neither consumed alcohol nor is distracted by their phone.
5. Keep water out of reach
Fencing water features such as pools or fountains is a great way to keep them out of children’s reach. Install a fence that’s at least 1.2 meters high and does not obstruct the water from your view. Take care to avoid fence designs with slats or gaps where toddlers can fit in or that children can use as a ladder.
6. Install alarms
As a safety measure, you can also install alarms that will alert you if something or someone has entered the pool area. This can be in the form of door alarms, floating-pool alarms, or below-water alarms. Also, ensure that the pool or fountain is easily seen from the inside of your home so you can periodically check if the area is clear.
7. Remove toys from the water
Floating toys attract the attention of children. Should they attempt to retrieve the toy, a child can accidentally fall into the water. Make sure to put away toys and aquatic implements after using the pool, tub, or even just a bucket of water.
8. Watch out for drains
Strong suction can easily pin down a child and prevent them from reaching the water surface. If possible, keep the drains of your pool or hot tub covered whenever the pool area is in use.
Keeping a child safe is a round-the-clock task, especially during fun holidays near water. By taking note of these pointers and practicing water safety rules with your kids, you can ensure that everyone in your family will be able to create fun memories that will last them a lifetime.
*This article is for informational purposes only and does constitute, replace, or qualify as RPL for our first aid training courses.