Drowning - Throw the floaties away…stat!

By Rachel Sobel - We are in the thick of summer, which means families everywhere are no doubt soaking up the sun and relishing time in the water. Kids are in the pool, sometimes up until dinner, coming out with prune-like features and giant smiles.

They’re so happy and relaxed while they kickback and revel in no schoolwork for a few short months. You almost forget how dangerous the water can be.

Drowning is actually the number one cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4 and second most common cause of injury-related death in children ages 1-14. Those are some sobering statistics.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but because of what we see at Handtevy on a regular basis, in addition to being parents to our own three young children, water safety is constantly on our radar. Each year, more than 600 kids under the age of 15 die from drowning, while seven times as many are treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal issues related to drowning. And we know we’re not alone regularly thinking about water safety, since articles seem to pop up everyday discussing the topic.

There are many things you can and should do to keep your kids safe in the water but the most important, in our minds, is to be laser focused on them while they are in any type of water. You should be vigilant about watching them and make sure if you have to step away, that there is another adult to do so. We know all too well that things happen in the blink of an eye – when you are checking your phone, or grabbing some water, or talking to a friend.

Of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, roughly 375 will be within 25 yards of an adult/parent when it happens.

There were also a couple of recent articles we came across, that touched the topic of floatation toys/tools, like water wings, tubes, etc. Here’s what we think about them…LOSE THEM!

On the surface it seems like they are not only logical but even helpful to young swimmers just getting comfortable in the water. But the reality is they give children (and parents) a false sense of security, and that is not something you want while you child is in the water. There are many things you can do to ensure a happy and safe summer filled with your kids gallivanting in every pool that crosses their path. In addition to our top two – keeping your eyes on them and not using floaties, think about enrolling your kids in swim lessons. It will help them get comfortable in the water and give them more confidence in their swimming abilities.

We also highly recommend learning CPR. It’s a valuable skill that can literally save lives and there are certification classes everywhere you can take advantage of.

Of course we want everyone to enjoy their summers, but more importantly, to be safe.