The Atlanta Area Moms Blog is thrilled to bring you this essential summer series. We are grateful for our partners at Goldfish Swim School – Johns Creek to help keep our families safe this summer!
Water Safety 101
Summertime means trips to the pool and fun at the beach! Fun for the whole family! But as parents make summer plans, water and swim safety should be top of mind.
Sadly, every year communities across the country are impacted by drowning or near-drowning incidents and Atlanta is no different. Water-related accidents can happen fast and parents need to be aware of ways to keep kids safer around water.
What do parents need to know when it comes to water safety?
First, the facts
Drowning is the leading cause of injury or death to children ages one to four—and the second leading cause of injury or death for children ages one to 14, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a topic that every family needs to be aware of.
What does drowning look like? What are the warning signs?
Drowning happens quickly. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water and in as little time as 20 seconds. Often, adults are around when a child is drowning but they are unaware of what is happening. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that we see on television is rarely seen in real life. You will not see screaming kids flailing their arms. Constant supervision is important so you notice a child whose face has gone under water or is struggling. If a child is taking on water, he WILL NOT be able to shout out for help.
Look for these other signs of drowning:
- Head low in the water, mouth at water level
- Head tilted back with mouth open
- Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
- Eyes closed
- Not using legs and vertical in the water
- Hyperventilating or gasping
- Trying to roll over on the back
What do families need to know when it comes to being safer around the water?
- Anytime kids are around water, designate a “water watcher” who will avoid cell phones, conversations, magazines and anything else that might distract the adult from watching swimming children EVERY SINGLE SECOND.
- Realize that floaties, noodles and plastic inner tubes do NOT protect against drowning. They are created as water toys, not life-saving devices. Life jackets should be designated as U.S. Coast Guard-approved.
- Get swim lessons for yourself or any other caregiver who cannot swim or is afraid of water.
- The American Red Cross says that the number one thing that parents can do to keep kids safer around water is to enroll them in swim lessons.
The water and swim safety experts at Goldfish Swim School have partnered with us to share important information and practical tips with us all summer long. Check back for information on choosing appropriate floatation devices and water safety skills that parents can work on with their kids anytime they are together in the water.