Here are some tips for keeping kids safe in and around water.
Teach your child to swim once he or she is ready (usually 5 years of age). Never let your child swim in any body of water without an adult watching who knows CPR. Keep a life preserver and shepherd's hook in the pool area. Teach your child safety rules and make sure they are obeyed:
Infants and toddlers must be watched by an adult at all times when in or near water. Infants and toddlers may drown in an inch or two of water. Each year many young children drown in swimming pools and bodies of fresh water. Other water hazards in and near the home:
If your family enjoys boating, sailing and canoeing, be sure your children wear the correct life jackets. Many children and adolescents think life jackets are hot, bulky and ugly. But newer models look better, feel better and are safe. Life jackets are required by many states and must be present on all boats traveling on water supervised by the Coast Guard.
Consider what you are using the life jacket for before purchasing. Within each “type” of jacket there are multiple styles for different activities.
TYPE 1: This jacket floats the best. It is designed to turn most unconscious persons upright and slightly backward. It is available in only two sizes: one size for adults more than 90 lb, and one for children less than 90 lb.
TYPE 2: This jacket turns the wearer upright and slightly backward, but not as much as Type 1. It may not always cause unconscious people to float face up.
TYPE 3: This jacket is designed so the wearer can get himself/herself in an upright and slightly backward position and stay in that position. This life jacket is ideal for water sports, and should be used only when the wearer could be rescued quickly.
TYPE 4: A life preserver is a cushion or ring, and is it is not safe to use in place of a life jacket. Check the label on the life preserver to be sure it meets Coast Guard or state regulations.
Use only life jackets and life preservers that are tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and approved by the Coast Guard. Life jackets should never be a substitute for adult supervision.