Summer Days Call for Beaches Pools and Safety
We all look forward to the warm rays of the sun and the soft white sand. Doesn't it sound fantastic? Imagine,this summer, splashing in the water with your kids on a sunny beach day. It's these bonding moments that strengthen a family and build an unforgettable collection of memories lasting a lifetime. However, the beach can hide with in itself a number of hazards, which can be harmful. First and foremost: the sun! While warm and pleasant, lets be mindful and apply a good amount of sunblock not only on your children but on yourself as well. Unfortunately, skin cancer is rather common and we must take steps to prevent it. Another key factor: water safety, it's just as important. Even shallow waters can have sharp wave movements causing a loss in balance. Invest in a life vest, teach your kids to swim and properly handle the ocean water to avoid being knocked over by the waves.
In resent headlines Olympic skier Bode Miller's 19-month old daughter passes of a drowning incident. This raised some awareness and questions about our favorite summer pastime.
According to the Red Cross, pool drowning is a leading cause of death for children younger than 5. Children were often out of sight less than 5 minutes and under the care of one or both parents at the time of many home pool drownings. It is never safe to dive in an above ground pool. Many in-ground pools are not safe for diving due to their shallow nature. Diving is a skill one should learn from a professional as the wrong entry angle can lead one right into the bottom of the pool or on top of someone when done recklessly. Take Action to Prevent Drowning!
Secure your pool or hot tub with barriers such as these:
• Surround the entire pool with a fence or barrier that is at least 4 feet high, has a self-closing and self-latching gate and is designed so that a child cannot climb over, under, around or through it.
• Remove or enclose steps or ladders to prevent access to an above ground pool.
• Mount a lockable structural barrier that fully encloses the top of a hot tub and will not collapse under the weight of a child.
Consider placing a safety cover that meets safety standards over a home pool and/or installing alarms on doors or in the pool to detect unauthorized access. Underwater alarms work best.
Keep children under active supervision when in or around the water.
If you have weak swimmers than have them wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket—do not rely on water wings or inflatable toys. Remove any pool toys from the pool or hot tub area when the area is not in use. Do not use alcohol and/or drugs before or while using a pool or hot tub. Establish and enforce rules, such as no one swims alone, stay away from drains, no loose/dangling items and no diving (if appropriate). Obey set limits for how much time is spent in hot water. Children younger than 5 should not use a hot tub.
Pregnant women or people with chronic medical conditions should obtain a health care provider’s approval.
Remember, the point is to have fun but be safe and cautious as well. This doesn't mean you have to watch your kids like hawks and not have an opportunity to relax and have fun. Preventive measure should be taken ahead of time to greatly reduce any chance of injury. Buy a life vest, teach your little ones how to swim, make sure pool safety rules are well understood, and most importantly have fun!
- Leya Bakes