Thursday, August 12, 2010

Water Safety

August has been trying to decide what temperature it wants to be, but when it decides to be hot... it is HOT. We know kids are begging to get over to the water park or jump in the pool in the backyard- here are a few ideas to keep them safe in the water.

If you have a pool at home:
  • Fences should stand at least 4 feet (130 centimeters) high with no foot or handrails for kids to climb on.
  • The slats should be less than 4 inches (110 millimeters) apart so a child can't get through, or if chain link, should have no opening larger than 1¾ inches (50 millimeters).
  • Gates should be self-closing and self-latching, and the latch should be out of kids' reach.

If you are going to a water park:
  • Teach your kids to follow all rules and directions, such as walking instead of running and always going down the water slide in the right position — feet first and face up. A Coast-Guard approved life jacket is a good idea, too.
  • Know which rides are appropriate for your child's age and development. For example, wave pools can quickly go from calm to rough, putting even a good swimmer in over his or her head. Younger children can be intimidated by older kids' splashing and roughhousing.
Regardless of where you are swimming, kids need constant supervision around water — whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake. Invest in good safety gear, i.e a life vest, floaties, etc. Young children can drown in less that 2 inches of water. Keep an eye on them constantly, and be smart. Water is a great relief from the heat- just be smart as you cool off.

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