Summer means warm weather, outside fun and no school for kids.
Summer for most families also means spending a lot of time in the water ... at the pool, the beach, or just running through the sprinkler in the backyard.
While children love this, spending any amount of time in water can present some real safety hazards and, unfortunately, water play can be fatal.
According to the Centers of Disease Control, approximately 10 people die every day from unintentional drownings. And 2 out of the 10 drowning deaths occur in children under the age of 15 years old.
Though this may surprise many parents, drowning actually ranks fifth on the list of the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.
Swimming and summer water fun does not have to be a cause for injury or death though. Here are three great tools parents can keep in mind (and close at hand) to keep kids safe this summer.
1. A whistle
Go old school and grab a whistle to make sure kids can hear Mom and Dad at the pool. Talk with them ahead of time so they know what to do when they hear the whistle (stop and find Mom) and be sure not to overuse it.
Other parents might not like the shrill sound but if it stops a child from running on wet pavement or diving into the shallow end of the pool then who cares?
2. Bright and/or color-coordinated swimwear and clothing
Have a lot of kids to keep track of at the beach or pool? Dress them all in the same color swimsuit or t-shirt.
Having matching towels also helps to mark the family's area (or where Mom is stationed) when kids are playing in the water. Being able to easily and quickly identify members of the family is key for water safety.
It is imperative that children of all skin colors and races wear waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when spending any amount of time in the sun. It will keep sensitive skin from burning and will help prevent skin cancer, wrinkles, and premature aging later on.
Spending time in the water with one's family should be a fun time to relax and make some great summer memories.