June not only marks the start of Summer but is also National Safety Month. Whether you are planning a family vacation to the beach or playing with the water hose in the back yard, it is a great time to master water safety.
Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for children ages 1 to 4, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. Young children are at a high risk because they can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Drownings often happen when children fall into a pool or are left alone in the bathtub, but toilets and even buckets can also pose a danger for a very young child.
Drowning is not the only concern when babies are exposed to water. Infants are especially susceptible to diseases that can be spread through water.
After a swim, wash your baby with a mild soap and shampoo the hair to remove pool chemicals. Also dry the baby’s ears carefully with a towel or cotton ball to prevent swimmer’s ear. Babies leaky diapers can also spread disease in a pool. The safest thing to do is to keep your baby out of public pools until the child is potty trained, and if needed, only use waterproof diapers.
The good news is there are many ways to keep kids safe in the water. Children should always be supervised when in or around water, whether the water is in a bathtub, toilet, pool, or a lake. Find age-appropriate swim lessons for your child, don’t let children play around drains and suction fittings, always have a first aid kit and emergency contacts handy, and get training in CPR.