As summer approaches, ensuring water safety for your little ones is a top priority. Drowning is the leading cause of death among children aged 1-4, so vigilant supervision around bodies of water is crucial. A recent viral TikTok video depicting a playpen in a pool has sparked a conversation about swim safety. Experts, including the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and pediatricians, have warned against using playpens in pools, as they can increase the risk of drowning.
Instead of relying on "parenting hacks," it's essential to follow established water safety guidelines. The Five Layers of Protection recommended by the National Drowning Prevention Alliance include:
- Installing four-sided fencing with self-closing, self-latching gates, pool safety covers, and alarm systems to prevent unsupervised access to the water.
- Teaching every adult and child basic water competency skills. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends swim lessons from age one, but consult your pediatrician to determine when your child is ready.
- Ensuring adults are certified in CPR and basic water rescue skills to aid in emergencies.
- Using U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejackets for children who can't swim, even when they are near water.
- Maintaining constant adult supervision and keeping children within arm's reach in any body of water.
For safe water play, pediatricians recommend options such as sprinklers, splash pads, water toys, floats, and waterproof books. Additionally, adults can take turns being "water watchers" to ensure constant supervision.
In summary, enjoy summer fun in the water with your child, but remember that there are no shortcuts when it comes to pool safety.
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