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With the temperature on the rise, what better way to cool off than on the water? However, parents must be on the lookout, especially since drowning is the second leading cause of death among children. Children’s Hospital wants you to stay safe and enjoy the summer! So, check out this interview about water safety with Debbie Coshatt, RN, and nurse educator in Patient Health and Safety at Children’s Hospital.
Water Safety Tips
Be sure the pool area is secure, so that kids can not enter the pool unknowingly.
“Nowadays, it’s gotten to where pools are at people’s homes. If neighborhood kids come play, then you are held responsible because it is your property. Make sure you have a lock or fence around the pool, especially if you have younger kids. Also, make sure you have a hard pool cover so that water can’t seep through if someone were to fall in.”
2. In a group setting, assign someone to be the “designated watcher.”
“In a group setting, there’s so many adults around that each adult thinks the other one is watching the kids. So, be sure there’s a designated person watching the children. Having a bunch of adults around doesn’t mean everyone is safe.”
3. Don’t allow inexperienced babysitters to supervise at the pool.
“I would always make it a rule to not allow a babysitter to be responsible for taking care of someone at a pool, because you can be easily distracted and forget to pay attention.”
4. When you are near any body of water, be sure children who can’t swim well are wearing a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest.
“Anytime you’re on a pool deck, if you have a child who can’t swim well, make sure they are wearing a Coast Guard approved life vest. Puddle jumpers are actually Coast Guard approved. The water wings are not approved, even if they make you feel more comfortable because of the added help.”
5. Silence does not mean everything is okay.
“Most people assume drowning victims are loud and splashing, but most of the time it is a silent thing. Just because you don’t hear much noise, doesn’t mean everything is okay.”
6. Don’t allow older kids to roughhouse in the pool.
“There isn’t as much of a problem with this as there used to be, but don’t allow older kids to roughhouse in the pool or hold younger kids underwater for play.”
7. After an accident, be sure to take your child to a pediatrician.
“Anytime someone has an accident, take them to a pediatrician just to make sure everything is okay. You’d rather be too safe than sorry.”
Children’s Hospital educator Debbie Coshatt offered great tips on water safety. Keep your family safe, so you can enjoy the summertime season!