Safe Summer Water Fun for Kids

As much fun as the pool, lake or ocean offer to kids, they also pose a lot of danger. For children between the ages of 1 and 4, drowning is the number one cause of death.

For those littlest ones, the biggest danger is the backyard pool or hot tub, where 87% of drowning fatalities occur. The older ones are at risk too, but in a different setting. Kids between the ages of 5 and 17 are more likely to drown in natural bodies of water.

The good news is that most drownings can be prevented. The following are four simple tips that can dramatically increase your family’s swim-time safety:

  • Keep an eye on them. This doesn’t mean simply be nearby. Drownings can happen fast. Someone must actively watch kids at all times when they’re in the water, even with lifeguards present.
  • Buddy up. The buddy system has been preached for years for a reason: It works.
  • Use life jackets. Kids often want to shed life jackets and floating vests, but don’t let them. U.S. Coast Guard-approved jackets keep them safe, and most kids eventually get so used to them they forget they’re wearing them.
  • Get lessons. Formal swim lessons drastically reduce the risk of a child drowning.

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