During the summer months, it is especially important to keep an eye on children around water. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for kids under the age of five, and toddlers are especially at risk.
The statistics are heartbreaking. 18 children have already drowned in Texas this year, and the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services has started a campaign reminding parents and caregivers to Watch Kids Around Water.
Important things to remember:
- Drowning can take place indoors AND outdoors. Never leave children unsupervised around swimming pools, and always remember to drain bathtubs as soon as you are finished.
- Drowning can take place in almost any amount of water. Never leave children around any container of water – even mop buckets or kiddie pools filled with rain water can be a danger.
Life Jackets (or personal floatation devices) save lives. Don’t forget them when boating or swimming, and make sure they are U.S. Coast Guard-Approved. Here are more tips from the U.S. Coast Guard.
- To work right, a life jacket must fit snugly on a child. To check for a good fit, pick the child up by the shoulders of the life jacket. If the life jacket fits right, the child’s chin and ears will not slip through.
- Teach your children to properly wear the life jacket. Children often panic when they fall into water suddenly. A life jacket will keep them afloat, but may not keep a struggling child face-up. Help them get used to wearing it in water.
- Life jackets are not babysitters. Even though a child wears a life jacket when on or near the water, an adult should always be there, too.
- Parents and caregivers, remember that inflatable toys and rafts should not be used in place of life jackets.
Click here for information on Types of Life Jackets.