Infant Swimming Resource, a provider of self-rescue swimming lessons for babies and toddlers from six months to six years old, offers the following winter water safety tips to help families protect their young children as they travel this holiday season.
"The holiday season represents the highest probability of distractions and breakdown of normal supervision routines," said Harvey Barnett Ph.D., pediatric drowning prevention specialist and founder of Infant Swimming Resource. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, eighty-eight percent of children were under some form of supervision when they drowned. "If a child is missing, check the pool first," Dr. Bennett advises.
Holiday and Winter Water Safety Tips
- CEO Supervision (Constant Eyes On) - Never turn your back on your child around water. It takes just seconds for him/her to be in serious trouble. Segment the supervision responsibilities so there are never questions about which adult is responsible for watching the child and be aware of the distractions unique to the winter months: holiday parties, house guests, etc.
- Educate Others - When traveling to relatives' and friends' homes they may not understand the importance of keeping gates closed, doors locked, closing toilet seats, emptying buckets, etc. Visiting family, holiday parties and celebrations can lead to breakdowns in routine supervision and effective barriers to the water.
- Decoration Hazards - Decorations and lights can pose problems with young children around the house and water. Watch for lights and electrical cords around water, make sure no outside decorations provide a means for a child to climb over a fence or open a locked gate.
- Maintain Pools in the Winter - Keep pools well-maintained with clear water even if it is too cold to swim. If someone falls in, they can be seen and be helped faster. Pool covers need to be drained of accumulated rain water and free of debris.
- Hot Tubs - Supervision must be one adult per child due to the high temperatures and turbulence of the water in a hot tub. When young children are in the hot tub, keep the temperature below 90 degrees Fahrenheit and limit exposure to less than ten minutes.
- Bath Tubs - Do not allow anyone who is uneducated about bath tub safety to bathe your child. Consider bathing an infant or young child in a tub with a handheld shower attachment, eliminating the risk of drowning in accumulating bath tub water.
- Self-rescueTM Skills - Teach young children self-rescue skills. In addition to pool fences, alarms and gates, it can be another layer of defense. Survival swimming and a demonstration of the roll-back-to-float skills prior to all water recreation is vital year round.
For a full Family Aquatic Safety Checklist from Infant Swimming Resource click here.
Source: Infant Swimming Resource
Created December 11, 2009