Keeping a Watchful Eye

During hot summer days, water activities are a great way to exercise and cool off. Even though the kids are back in school, many Texans will be enjoying the beach and local pool for weeks to come. As the days roll into fall, it's easy to become more relaxed and less mindful of the dangers of water, I wanted to remind everyone about water safety.

 

In 2009, 113 children drowned, which is the highest death rate the Department of Family and Protective Services has seen since they began recording this information in 2005. Unfortunately DFPS also reports that, “At least 61 children have drowned in Texas this year and yet the deadliest period for drowning, which lasts through Labor Day, still lies ahead.” 
 

 

 
Luckily, there are steps that adults can take to ensure swimming remains safe for everyone.  

Make sure that your child knows how to swim.  Even if you do not normally include swimming as part of your family’s summer activities children should know how to swim. Swimming lessons provide your child with the basic knowledge and skills needed to deal with a situation if it arises.

Actively supervise children around water

According to DFPS, “Federal statistics show that…most young children who drowned in pools were last seen in the home, had been out of sight less than five minutes, and were in the care of one or both parents at the time.”
Even if your child has completed swimming lessons do not assume that they are an expert in the water.  All children, even the ones who have attending swimming classes, need to be supervised when they are near water.  In fact, some experts even suggest that an adult swimmer should always be in the water with children while they are swimming, and they should never be further than an arm’s reach away.  Keep in mind that a child can drown in less time than it takes to answer the phone, run to the restroom or answer the door.
  • A child can drown anytime water covers their mouth and nose.
  • Children often cannot and do not call out for help.
  • Drowning is not like the movies for it is often silent event.

Learn CPR  

Learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is as easy as contacting the American Heart Association (AHA). Classes are provided to the public for a small charge.  When you consider that this information can save a life, possibly someone whom you love, it is priceless. 
Note: If you live in the Atascocita, Humble or Kingwood area the The Atascocita Volunteer Fire Department provides classes.
Keep a cordless phone and emergency numbers near by
Having the phone and emergency contact numbers close by will help you keep your composure and act accordingly. 

Read books about Water Safety

  

Did your child take swimming lessons in the spring or early summer months? If so, it is probably a great time discuss water safety with them. Reading is a great way to bring up subjects with your child without it sounding like a lecture. 

Additional Information

Centers of Disease Control

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PhotPhotograph provided by (nz)dave's photostream on Flickr.