Make a Splash This Summer with Top Tips for Beach and Water Safety
By Farley Boyle, Model, Mom and Founder, President and Executive Director, C.H.A.S.E for Life
Drowning is the number one cause of injury-related death among children between the ages of 1 and 5 and the second leading cause of death for children ages 1-14.
Each year, between May and August, an average of 1,000 children die from unintentional drowning incidents and about 5,700 children sustain nonfatal near drowning-related injuries. With the weather getting warmer, beach season is right around the corner. Make a splash this summer with the knowledge you need to prevent unnecessary accidents from happening.
Drowning can happen in a matter of seconds and is often silent without a splash or a sound, which can make it difficult to see or detect. Infants and toddlers can drown in less than one inch of water. Children can drown in front of other children, adults and even lifeguards.
Top Tips for Water Safety
Never leave children unsupervised. Even if your grade-schooler is a confident and capable swimmer, do not leave them without adult supervision in or near the water. Teach your child to never swim alone or without adult supervision.
Remember that drownings can happen silently. You may not hear splashing or a call for help—a drowning can happen in a few seconds.
If possible, do not use flotation devices, and never use as a substitute for supervision. Inflatable “floaties” and other flotation devices and toys can give kids whodo not know how to swim a false sense of security.
Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (including adolescents). You may never need to use it, but learning CPR means you are empowered with important skills that can change the outcome of a life or death situation.
Learn about the dangers of secondary/dry drowning, which can happen on dry land, hours after a child inadvertently inhales water into the lungs. SYMPTOMS: difficulty breathing or speaking, irritability or unusual behavior, coughing, chest pain, low energy or sleepiness after a water incident.
Do not assume that a teen, relative or other adult will be watching. Instruct caregivers to be vigilant and NOT to use cell phones, text, or allow other distractions while supervising kids in the water.
Parents and children need to understand that jumping or diving into water can result in injury. Parents should know the depth of the water and the location of underwater hazards before permitting children to jump or dive. The first entry into any body of water should be feet first.
Whenever a child is missing, always check the water first. Survival depends on a quick rescue and restarting breathing as soon as possible.
What to Do in an Emergency?
If you find a child in the water, immediately get the child out while calling loudly for help. If someone else is available, have them call 911. Check to make sure the child’s air passages are clear. If the child is not breathing, start CPR. When a 911 operator is on the line, follow their instructions until professional help can take over.
As parents, we know it’s better to be safe than sorry. Educating yourself and your children can prevent drowning.
Have a safe and happy summer vacation!
Farley Boyle, Model, Mom and Founder, President and Executive Director, C.H.A.S.E. for Life
Follow this link to the C.H.A.S.E. for Life story.