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5/22/24 blog post

Stay safe in and near the water this summer with tips from Dayton Children's

Did you know drownings happen fast and in as little as one inch of water? When it comes to water safety, there is a lot to consider! Ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial kick-off to summer, be sure to check out these water safety tips to keep your family safe this summer.

In addition to the safety tips no matter where your family is enjoying the water, it’s important to know the extra safety tips that are specific to your location like the beach, at-home pools, lakes and more. If your child does have a near-drowning incident, they should be seen in the emergency department and monitored.

general water safety tips for anywhere

  • Designate a water watch - even if there is a lifeguard, make sure a non-distracted adult is watching!
  • Never let kids swim alone. Young kids should be within arm's reach of an adult. Older kids should have a water buddy.
  • In bad weather, especially lightning, swimmers should get out of the water right away.

tips for the pool

At-home pools:

  • For smaller pools, wading pools and water toys - drain all water after each use.
  • Beware of large, inflatable, above-ground pools. Children may fall in as they lean against the soft side.
  • Always remove any ladders from above-ground pools when not in use.
  • For large backyard pools, install gates, fences or other barriers with locks.

Community pools:

  • Remember that lifeguards cannot watch very child; their job is to scan the pool and look for emergencies.
  • Follow all posted pool rules to ensure everyone has a safe, fun experience at the pool.

tips for the beach

  • Find beaches that have lifeguards on duty.
  • Follow the recommendations of posted signs and flags about weather, rip curents, water life, restrictions, etc.
  • Teach kids to:
    • Face the water so they can see when waves are coming.
    • Yell for help and swim parallel to the shore if they are being pulled by a rip current.
  • Don't let kids:
    • Swim if there are large waves.
    • Swim near piers or water structures - a big wave can push them into it.
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard - approved life jacket that is right for your child's weight and water activity.

tips for the lake/river

  • Use designated swimming and recreational areas - those areas have been assessed by professionals.
  • Open water can be unpredictable, even for strong swimmers. Heed all posted warnings about dangers in the water and follow the recommendations of posted signs.
  • Wear the appropriate life jacket or U.S. Coast Guard-approved flotation device while enjoying the open water.
  • Supervise small children when playing near the open water.

tips for the splash pad/water park

  • Know which areas or rides are safe for your child's age and development.
  • Supervise your kids and keep them in your view. They may go out of sight for a moment on a ride, but you should be able to see them most of the time.
  • Use the buddy system so each child should have a buddy to stay with for the day.
  • Follow all rules at the park, such as:
    • Walk don't run- splash pads and waterparks often have slippery surfaces.
    • Going doing the water slide in the correct position - feet-first and face-up
    • Follow the age, height, weight or health requirements for activities.