Family Summer Water Safety: 6 Tips to Remember

Mother and child in pool

The school year is ending, Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and the summer pool season is about to start. When people are enjoying time at the beach or pool they aren’t focused on potential injuries or drownings, but accidents can happen. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, drowning is the second leading cause of death in children ages one to 14 and it is the leading cause of unintentional death in ages one to four.

From water safety to simply staying hydrated and free of sun damage, Gaston Medical Partners wants parents and caregivers to follow these six tips to help keep everyone safe around water this summer.

1. Stay Hydrated

Anytime people are enjoying fun in the sun by a body of water or a pool they should drink plenty of water. If people don’t stay hydrated, they run the risk of passing out leading to injuries or possible drowning.

2. Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Damage from UV rays builds over time so slathering on sunscreen starts with even the smallest members of the family. Choose the right sunscreen by looking for SPF 30 or higher and those that offer broad-spectrum protection. Apply 15 minutes before going outside and be sure to re-apply, especially after being in the water or sweating.

3. Install a Fence Around Home Pools

If people have a pool in their backyard, they should take a few precautions to help keep children away from the area when they aren’t supposed to be swimming.

Install a fence around the pool with self-closing or self-latching gates and ensure the pool has proper drain covers. Installing an alarm on the door leading from the house to the pool can also help adults key in on any potential accidents.

4. Invest in Swim Lessons & Life Jackets

Swim lessons are available for even the youngest family members, but adults and older caregivers who cannot swim or are afraid of water should invest in them, too.

Additionally, make sure everyone is wearing a life jacket when in and around natural bodies of water or on a boat. The CDC recommends children wear a life jacket when in lakes or the ocean, even if they know how to swim.

5. Know How to Perform CPR

When people think of drowning, they think of a person flailing their arms and frantically calling for help, but drowning occurs quickly and quietly leaving rescuers only seconds.

Knowing CPR and how to use rescue equipment is important in case of an emergency. The American Red Cross offers CPR classes and, even if people have taken a CPR class in the past, it’s always a good idea to refresh their skills.

6. Pay Attention and Be Present

Even after taking these precautions, the most important one is to pay close attention. These lazy summer days spent with your little ones will be the memories you cherish when they are grown!

Scheduling an annual exam with your child’s Gaston Medical Partners doctor can allow parents to ask questions and assess developmental milestones. Your partners in health, for the entire family, are just a call away.