Did you know that drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death for children? Unfortunately, this risk only increases as summertime visits to grandma and grandpa in Florida offer plenty of exposure to pools, lakes, beaches, and other sources of water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two children aged 14 or younger die from unintentional drowning every day, and another five children are treated for emergency submersion injuries for each childhood fatality.
Luckily, there are steps that grandparents and parents can consider taking in advance of a vacation to create a safer environment. Together, you can understand the risks and take ample measures to reduce or eliminate the factors that lead to most of these tragic statistics.
Let us share six critical water safety tips with you.
1. Never leave grandchildren unsupervised. Even if your grandchild is a confident and capable swimmer, never leave a pool or swimming area without securing competent adult supervision in your absence. Also, never allow your grandchild to swim under the supervision of irresponsible adults.
2. Drownings can occur quickly and silently. It’s part of what makes drowning so scary. Grandchildren can simply wander into water inches above their heads without splashing. The window to save them may also range from a minute to 90 seconds.
3. Put barriers around your pool. If you own a pool, erecting a safety fence or barrier can be one of the most important investments you can make. Keep outside doors locked and use a childproof entryway to the pool barrier to prevent young grandchildren from accessing it. Make sure older grandchildren understand there’s no swimming unless grandma and grandpa are around.
4. Don’t rely on flotation devices. Inflatable arm “floaties” and other swimming aids and toys can give children who cannot swim a false sense of security.
5. Learn CPR. Learning CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, could mean the difference between life and death during a water submersion emergency. Organizations such as the American Red Cross offer free CPR classes across the country.
6. Estate Planning. It may seem unrelated, but ensuring your grandchildren will be cared for if something happens to you is one of the most important protective measures grandparents can take for their grandchildren. Do not wait to contact an experienced estate planning attorney for guidance.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers for you.
Water safety tips are important to learn especially if you are not use to having young children around.
Do not wait to contact our office to discuss how to plan forward to care for your grandchildren this summer and well into the future.