Don’t Let Your Dream Vacation Become a Nightmare
Each year tons of families plan dream vacations. Most of those plans include an escape from the winter to a destination with sun, palm trees, beaches, and water. Unfortunately, what most families don’t plan for are the dangers associated with “sun and fun”.
According to a recent American Red Cross poll, 63% of families with children will swim somewhere without a lifeguard on duty; 67% believe “water wings” will keep kids safe in the water; and 93% of those polled were unable to correctly identify the correct steps for helping a swimmer in danger. The harsh reality is that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children 1 to 4 years old.
We understand your vision of a dream vacation includes a lounge chair by the pool and we’re not here to scare you away from that dream. The truth is that although drowning is the number one cause of accidental death in young children, it is also true that this unfortunate statistic is 100% preventable. According to the National Institute of Health, swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88%.
Ok now you know the risks, so here’s your plan. Enroll your child in a survival swim course. Make sure the instructor is certified by the American Red Cross. Then make sure you remember the three Layers of Protection available on our Water Safety Tips page:
Supervision - Supervision, the first and most crucial layer of protection, means someone is always actively watching when a child is in the pool. Adults take turns watching the little ones, and never assume the other one is handling the situation. MAKE SURE!
Barriers - A child should never be able to enter the pool area unaccompanied by a guardian. Barriers physically block a child from the pool.
Emergency Preparedness - The moment a child stops breathing there is a small, precious window of time in which resuscitation may occur, but only if someone knows what to do. Even if you’re not a parent, it’s important to learn CPR. The techniques are easy to learn and can mean the difference between life and death. In an emergency, it is critical to have a phone nearby and immediately call 911.
Finally, talk to your children about safety in and around the water and enroll them in a survival swim school. Kids are attracted to water and need to know the boundaries. Make rules and enforce them. Kids will test those boundaries until they know that water safety is not a game. For more information about Swim Safety visit www.safetyfirstswim.com.