Playing in the water is a favorite activity for many families, whether it’s in a pool or in the bathtub. Never leave children unattended around water, even an inch or so. Here are some other ways to stay safe around the wet stuff.
IN THE POOL
Pools — in backyards, neighborhoods, parks and hotels —are kid magnets. But they’re also killers. According to the CDC, about 10 people dieevery day from drowning and two of those are under 14. Keep children safe in the pool by teaching them how to swim. Lessons are available at local aquatics centers, from the local YMCA or at local parks. Teach your kids to stay away from drains or other suction outlets in the pool that can trap them underwater and make sure pools have appropriate fencing and enclosures to keep children out when adults aren’t watching. This last step may also be required by homeowners insurance if it’s a backyardpool; make sure you’re compliant with your policy. Have your pools inspected every year. Here are some local pool companies to contact: Vaughan Pools & Spas, Columbia Pool & Spa, Reflections Pool Services, Pools Made Possible LLC.
IN THE BOAT
Boating is a year-round activity in many parts of the country. In 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 700 deaths from recreational boating and many, many more accidents. Keep your children safe in the boat by refraining from alcohol consumption (remember, in your state, drinking and driving a boat may be treated the sameas drinking and driving a car),driving safely and obeying the rules and, most importantly, wearing the proper life jacket. Life jackets are life savers. In 2016, 83 percent of boating fatalities were not wearing life jackets.
Proper fitting life jackets:
• Are securely and snugly fastened; • Aren’t ripped, water logged or mildewed; and • Can hold air for 16 hours, if inflatable. You can buy life jackets for everyone in the family, including pets. Just look for the Coast Guard certification before you buy.
IN THE TUB
Children younger than 6should never be left unattended in a bath, even in shallow water, the CDC advises. Use non skid pads or adhesives in the tub to prevent falls and always empty the tub after bath time to prevent accidents. Also, before putting your child in the tub, check to make sure the water isn’t too hot to prevent burns. Check baby goods stores for duckies and other color-changing toys that can make this task at-a-glance easy.