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Water Safety For Children

Water play is a fun activity for toddlers. However, it can also put a child’s safety at risk. Keep these water safety tips in mind so you can protect your toddler whether he is in a tub, at the pool or at the beach.

Water Safety In The Bathroom

The bathroom is a hazardous place for your toddler. Make sure you childproof your bathroom by storing hair dryers and other electrical appliances to avoid the risk of electrocution. Cover the bathtub surface with a rubber suction mat to prevent slipping. Put a bath spout or a faucet cover over the faucet so he does not hurt his head in case he bangs into it. Fill the tub with only 3 to 4 inches of warm water (less than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid scalding) and always test the water first with your elbow before placing your toddler in the tub.

Do not let your toddler swallow bathwater or let him submerge his eyes and head. Soap and shampoo can cause diarrhea and irritate his eyes and intestinal tract. Make sure you keep the toilet bowl and bathroom door closed when not in use or get a lid lock for the toilet. Most of all, never leave your toddler unsupervised in the bathtub, even for a minute. If you have to, wrap him in a towel and bring him with you.

Water Safety In Pools and Beaches

Teach your little one how to swim. This will make him feel more comfortable in the water. Have him wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest or life jacket. Impose water safety rules and remind him every so often to help him follow them. For instance, tell your toddler that he should never go near the water without adult supervision. If he wants to, he should bring an older person to accompany him. Warn him not to push someone in the water, not to dive, not to run or play on the pool deck since he can slip into the water or hurt his head and if there is lightning, he should get out of the pool at once.

Take a child CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) course so you can give first-aid help in case something unprecedented happens. See to it that the pool water is well-chlorinated and only allow him to swim in beaches and lakes that have clear, obstruction-free water. Let him wear protective footwear especially for beaches with uneven surfaces and make sure that a lifeguard is on sight.

Make sure the water is warm enough. Water temperature should be between 85 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid your toddler from getting hypothermia.

Install a self-closing, self-latching gate (at least 4 feet high) around the pool. Remove any toys from the water and deck after swimming and double check that there is  nothing your toddler can climb on to get over your pool’s fence.

Most importantly, always keep a close eye on your toddler. Never assume that just because he is not in the water, knows how to swim, wears a life vest and has memorized water safety rules by heart, he is safe. If you must leave your toddler, designate an adult to look after him.

The best way to protect your toddler from accidental drowning is by being prepared and well-informed. Being in the water is good for your toddler so let him splash and play to his heart’s content as long as you are watching and within arms’ reach.

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April 2015
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