Swimming & Boating Safety
Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 to 4 years old. Children less than a year old are more likely to drown at home in the bathroom or a bucket. Drowning is 100 percent preventable!
NEVER SWIM ALONE
Watch kids when they are in or around water, without being distracted. Keep young children within arm’s reach of an adult. Make sure older children swim with a partner .
Close toilet lids and use toilet seat locks to prevent drowning. Keep doors to bathrooms and laundry rooms closed.
Teach children how to swim. Every child is different, so enroll children in swim lessons when they are ready. Consider their age, development and how often they are around water.
Make sure kids know how to swim and learn these five water survival skills:
1. Step or jump into water over their head and return to the surface.
2. Float or tread water for one minute.
3. Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
4. Swim 25 yards to exit the water.
5. Exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder. Install fences around home pools.
A pool fence should surround all sides of the pool and be at least 4 feet tall with self-closing and self-latching gates.
Empty kids’ pools after each use. Store them upside down so they do not collect water.
Know what to do in an emergency. Learning CPR and basic water rescue skills may help you save a child’s life.
Always have your children wear a life jacket approved by the U. S. Coast Guard while on boats, around open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. It is highly recommended when on docks as well.
Make sure the life jacket fits snugly. Have kids make a “touchdown” signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits a child’s chin or wars, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose.
Infants and young kids are at a higher risk for hypothermia, so if you are taking a baby on a boat, just take a few extra precautions to keep your baby warm. If the children seem cold or are shivering, wrap them tightly in a dry blanket or towel.
Explain some basic rules and have everyone follow them. Children need to understand and follow rules such as keeping their hands and feet inside the boat at all times and not running on a boat.
Enroll older kids in a boating safety course. Better yet, enroll with them.
Get a free safety check every year from the U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for U. S. Power Squadrons. Find a location at http://wow.uscgaux.info/peclass.php?unit=070
Just like on the road, have a designated driver for the boat.
In many states, no one under 14 years of age may operate any personal watercraft at any time, even if such person possesses a Boating Safety Education ID Card.
For more general information about kids safety visit: safekids.org