Water Safety: 7 Guidelines for Parents


drowning water safety Providence Moms Blog

Warning: This post will scare you. It is actually my intent, but it’s for your own good.

Did you know that it only takes two inches of water for a baby to drown? It’s a startling statistic and one that doesn’t even seem possible. Unfortunately, it’s true. People drown when excess water gets into their lungs. When that happens, the lungs can’t put oxygen in the blood. Then, too little oxygen gets to the brain and the rest of the body.

Drowning is the second most common cause of death from injuries among kids under the age of 14. There I go, scaring you again; it’s my intent.

When the summer weather hits, everyone wants to be in or around the water. As a pool owner, we take our responsibilities very seriously. Our pool is gated with a lock and key even though it is above ground and we are not required to do so by law in the city we reside in. We’re very upfront and honest with friends (and their children) about the rules of the pool: no one goes on the deck without an adult, no running on deck, and no diving.

But it just takes a second: a simple phone call, the doorbell, the chicken wings burning on the grill, and tragedy can strike.

How should you make it a priority?

  • Swim in designated areas with a lifeguard in a public pool/beach setting
  • Start children in swimming lessons at a young age (even if it’s just to acclimate to the water)
  • Set rules based on a child’s age and abilities
  • Never leave a child unattended (regardless of age) in the pool, even if you think an older child is self sufficient and can watch – they can’t!
  • Keep toys out of pool when not in use so it doesn’t attract young children to water
  • Always keep the pool gate locked, even if it can be a pain when hosting
  • If a child is missing, check the water immediately!

Giving children the tools to learn to swim is a valuable investment and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It may be the difference between life and death down the road.



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