Don’t let the hazy days of summer deter you from being vigilant with your kids when having fun in the water.
The hottest and best days of summer are here. The kids have been out of school for at least a month and we still have a month ahead of great weather. Unfortunately, with the hazy days of summer often comes a more relaxed attitude with children and water safety.
Whether you are having a staycation this summer and staying at the local pool or heading to the cottage or even further afield, remember to keep your kids safe by the water.
Safety In the Water
Of course we all know that water safety with kids is a must, yet, the Canada Safety Council reports that drowning is the leading cause of preventable death in children under 10.
Did you know that drownings often happen when there are many people around? If you are at a party and there are little ones around, be extra careful. Often, when there are many people hanging at the pool, on the dock or at the beach, it is assumed that someone is watching the little ones and, if everyone is assuming that, children can disappear and nobody notices. The popular belief is that when people are drowning, they thrash and make noise. This is not true. Drowning is silent and quick.
Be vigilant with the older kids too. Many children will overestimate their swimming abilities and can get in to trouble quickly. Other kids around may have no clue this is happening. Even if your kids are excellent swimmers, they may take risks that could get them in trouble. This is especially true in larger bodies of water so it is imperative that you never take your eyes off them and never, ever leave them unattended.
If your summer plans include a trip to the ocean or a large lake, be sure to learn about rip tides. Rip tides or rip currents can occur anywhere that waves break. Familiarize yourself with the body of water that you are visiting and check to see if rip currents are a common occurrence. Learn how to get yourself out of a rip current and teach your kids too. If you are unfamiliar with the body of water you are visiting, always swim where there are lifeguards.
If you are boating or rafting this summer, remember life jackets. Not just for the kids, for you too. If the worst case scenario happens and you end up in the water, your priority will be to help your kids. Trying to keep afloat while doing this will be impossible. Your children’s safety and survival depends on you being able to help them in the water.
To learn more about rip currants visit the National Ocean Service page