Water Safety MonthMay 16, 2019
May is Water Safety Month. Many toddlers are curious about water and want to explore it, so it’s vitally important that all caregivers learn preventive tips to keep them safe. Join AAP and other drowning prevention advocates on May 23 by sharing messages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter about ways we can keep children safe this summer – and year-round. Between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET, share photos, videos, tips and other messages using #DrowningPrevention.
1. Swimming pools, including large, inflatable above-ground pools and other temporary pools, should be completely surrounded by a fence on all 4 sides. The fence should be at least 4 feet high with no opening under it, and should completely separate the pool from the house. Keep the gate locked at all times, and keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so children aren’t tempted to get in the water.
2. Provide close, constant supervision in and around water. Whenever your toddler is in or near water, give them your undivided attention. It’s important to avoid doing anything that would make it hard to stay focused, such as using your cell phone, doing yard work, or drinking alcohol.
3. Assign a “water watcher”. Especially during parties or picnics at the pool or lake, when it’s easy to get distracted, assign a “water watcher” to constantly keep eyes on the child. Take turns, passing along a water watcher card to the next responsible adult after a set time (such as 15 minutes).
4. Even if they know how to swim, use life jackets near lakes and rivers. Children should always wear life jackets when in, on, or near natural bodies of water, such as lakes or rivers. Make sure they fit properly and are approved by the US Coast Guard. Children and others who lack strong swim skills should also wear life jackets when at a pool or water park.
5. Parents and caregivers should know CPR and how to get emergency help. Find classes through the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and local fire departments, park districts and other organizations. Sign up with your partner or a friend!
For more tips on water safety, please click here.