Safe and Fun Summer Swimming!

A nice dip in the pool, tubing in the river, or maybe even going on a boat on the lake. As the warmer months begin approaching, it is inevitable that most people will be spending more time in the water. When most think of water we think of summertime, playing, and overall exciting times. Although these fun times make up most water-related summer memories, there is a high risk of water injuries occurring.

  • Did you know that for children younger than 15 years old, nearly 68% of reported fatal drowning victims were boys?
  • Between years 2014 and 2016, 74% of children being treated in the emergency department for non-fatal, pool- or spa-related drowning incidents were younger than 5 years old.

How can we prevent drowning?

As a parent you want to ensure that your child is safe around bodies of water, such as pools, lakes, and rivers. There are different ways to protect your child from unsafe situations. These include preventative measures, educating your children on water safety, and learning how to respond in a drowning situation. Drownings are typically silent and occur quickly. Meaning the prevention of drownings are extremely important, and this starts with education and action.

Water Safety

This starts with making sure that young children do not have easy access to open bodies of water, especially unsupervised. Protection against unsafe access to water includes 4-sided fencing with a self-closing or self-latching gate around any areas of water that could present as dangerous.

It is crucial to teach children how to swim. Children who cannot swim on their own face a much higher risk of drowning, leading to potentially life-threatening injuries. There are many resources to help teach your children how to swim, such as signing them up for classes at a local parks and recreation department.

Although it is important that children can swim on their own, accidents do happen. At any time that children are swimming or playing in the water, there should be a designated water watcher. This could be any adult who is able to swim and give their direct attention to children in the water and can keep an eye out for any situations that appear to be unsafe or alarming.

In situations where an accident does occur and drowning happens, it is essential that those around know how to properly respond. Knowing how to give CPR can save someone’s life and allow for a quicker response in such situations.

Lastly, checking pool drain covers can prevent drowning. If there is pool drain cover that is not correctly installed, broken or even recalled, this can lead to drowning. The drains can create a strong suction, resulting in the pulling of items or even children to the bottom of the pool.

Before summer arrives and outdoor activities are at their peaks, take the time to confirm that you have covered all safety precautions concerning swimming. Engage in a swimming lesson, limit easy access to bodies of water and brush up on your CPR! Follow these simple steps to foster safe swimming. 

Prevent Accidental Poisonings in Your Home

Where do you store your medicine, cleaning supplies, or items such as bug spray? If you are like most of us, you may have said in a cabinet or under the sink. Storing items such as these may not seem to be a big deal, however, incorrectly storing these items could put your children at serious risk for accidental poisoning. It only takes a bit of time and effort to drastically decrease the chances of this happening.

Let’s take a look at a few statistics according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

  • 91% of poisonings take place at home.
  • Poisoning is the leading cause of injury-related death in America.
  • The exposure to cleaning products we typically store within the home is the second leading cause of poisoning in children.

Although these thoughts and numbers may pose as fear-invoking, you can easily make changes to where you store potentially harmful items. Storing harmful items in areas that are out of reach to children can lower the risk of poisoning. There is a common misconception that “storing” the medicines you may not take on a regular basis is enough, but it is important to do the same with medicines you take frequently. Let’s go over simple, yet effective ways to protect your children from accidental poisonings.

  1. Keep all medicine out of the sight or access of children, even if it is something you take daily. Children are inquisitive and will get into items such as medications if it is within their reach.
  2. Child-proof areas that you may store your cleaning supplies, or medications. Items such as safety cabinet locks can prevent children from gaining access to these items or try storing them out of sight and out of reach.
  3. Buy items with child-resistant packaging when you can. If medication bottles or cleaning supplies are not child-resistant, it is crucial to store these items both out of sight and out of access.
  4. Use alarms to keep track of medication intake. Instead of leaving medications on counters or surfaces that children can get to, set alarms to remind yourself when to take the medication.
  5. Keep and list the Poison Help number in your phone and home for yourself and caregivers: 1-800-222-1222. There are 24-hour services provided to help you with poison related questions, emergencies, and overall medicine safety.

It may not be possible to entirely eliminate the chance of accidental poisoning, but it is possible to take steps to decrease the risk of this happening. Being more aware and taking preventative steps to eliminate access to medications or cleaning supplies can heighten your child’s at home safety. Take a look at these links for more resources on this topic.

https://www.safekids.org/checklist/medication-safety-checklist

https://www.safekids.org/tip/parent-medication-tip-card-pdf