If you have been outside recently, you know its hot. Its the beginning of June and we have already seen record high temperatures.
This means more of you will be tackling the pool or beach now that the kids are out of school!
Now is a good time to get your children into swim lesson or reinforce swimming skills! It is also a good time to remind parents to watch their kids while in the pool or ocean, even if they know how to swim.
With 1,350 mile of coastline, Florida is second in the nation behind Alaska, which has 6.640 miles. We’re also second in the nation behind Arizona in the number of pools per resident.
The Sunshine State ranks fourth in drowning rate behind Louisiana, Hawaii and Alaska. Florida is tops in the nation for drowning rate among children 4 and younger.
Connie Harvey, director of the Aquatics Centennial Initiative for the American Red Cross. “People work hard to keep water out of their child’s face when bathing them, but it’s good for water to trickle over their face. Squeeze a wash cloth so water comes down. Get them used to water over their face. Do the same activities in the pool as at bath time — teaching them to blow bubbles and breath control, which is important for them.
Make sure they are in a aquatic environment where the person they are with makes them feel confident. Integrate toys and let them have fun so it doesn’t feel like a chore.
Harvey emphasized three key points for water safety: Water competency, the circle of drowning prevention and the chain of drowning survival.
With water competency, you want the child to be able to handle themselves in an emergency. They should have the ability to step in water over their head, come back to the surface, get their bearings, tread water or float on their back for a minute, be able to turn in a circle, swim to an exit point — at least 25 yards at a minimum — then get out without using a ladder. Until they are able to do that, they need to stay in swimming lessons. It’s important to note that these lessons don’t necessarily transfer from one environment to the next. What a child can do in a pool is different from what happens in the ocean. If going to the beach, continue swim lessons to get the skills to do that sequence in the ocean.
or the circle of drowning prevention there are five links:
- Have constant adult supervision.
- Have “reach supervision,” meaning an adult is always within an arm’s reach of a new swimmer.
- Swim in areas protected by lifeguards, and even in those areas, have constant adult supervision over who you brought to the water.
- If you have a backyard pool or spa, make sure it’s protected on all four sides with a fence and self-latching gate.
- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, especially for newer swimmers on a boat. Inflatable water wings and noodles are toys, not safety devices.
The third and final water safety point is the chain of drowning survival: What to do if something goes wrong. It’s the knowledge to identify if someone is having trouble in the water and how to get somebody out without putting yourself in danger, and knowing CPR, especially in a drowning emergency. Start CPR immediately and call 911. And remember, our kids are in so many more drowning situations than just pools or the ocean. Bath tub drownings can happen quickly. We have a major river lagoon system that runs through our county, and we have several large lakes and retention ponds. Even overland drains can be dangerous.
We intend to do everything we can to get Isabella skilled and informed on how to handle water safety.
Make sure the kids in your life have the same knowledge. Their lives may depend on it.
Thank you Florida Today!