How to be A Better, Safer Swimmer as a toddler and as a Family
Many toddlers―curious, active and eager to explore their surroundings―are attracted to water. It shines, ripples, splashes, and can even make things float! But, they don't understand that water can be dangerous and they aren't old enough yet to do what is needed when in trouble. So, it's essential to protect them from water hazards where you live and where you visit.
The toddler years are actually the higher drowning risk than any other time for your children but we want to emphasize that water safety is important for all ages, but especially for toddlers. Drowning is the leading cause of injury death in children one to four. Young children can drown in as little as an inch or two of water, and it can happen quickly and silently.
The biggest drowning threat facing families with toddlers is unexpected, unsupervised access to water: swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, bathtubs, natural bodies of water such as ponds, and standing water in homes. For example, 69% of all drownings among children age 4 and younger happen during non-swim times.
What you should do is to create layers of protection to keep your toddler safe, it helps to lower the risk of drowning and other water-related injuries to children, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends using "layers" of protection. When children are not expected to be around the water (non-swim times), barriers can help prevent tragedies during inevitable, brief lapses in supervision which are a normal part of every day. When children are playing in and around water, close and constant supervision becomes essential.
Another is to check for water dangers at home and where you visit. Preventing unintended, unsupervised access to water is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce drowning deaths among young children. Start with these layers of protection in and around your home to help make your toddler's environment safer.
We can also put some emphasis on making a fence and secure swimming pools. Research suggests that fencing can prevent more than half of all swimming pool drownings of young children. Swimming pools, including large, inflatable above-ground pools and other temporary pools, should be completely surrounded by a fence on all four sides. The fence should be at least four-feet high and have no opening under it or between slats that are more than four inches wide, completely separate the pool from the house and have a self-closing and self-latching gate that opens away from the pool, with the latch at least 54 inches from the ground. You also have to make sure to keep the gate locked at all times and check it frequently to be sure it works. Keep toys out of the pool area when not in use so that children are not tempted to try to get through the fence during the non-swim time. Also be sure to always cover and lock hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools right after using them.
Aside from that you can also remove or fence other backyard water hazards, examples are bird baths, fountains, and ponds. Although these can be beautiful landscape features, consider holding off on installing or using them until your child is older. Other examples are wells, irrigation, or drainage ditches. Also be careful to prevent children's access to open post holes while structures like fences, decks, birdhouses, and flagpoles are being put in.
As a parent, it would be wise as well if we prevent our child from going outside unnoticed.
We can use safety gates, door locks or doorknob covers to prevent your toddler from going outside or into your garage unnoticed. Make sure siblings and all other family members know to always close the door behind them so younger children don't follow them out.
To add with all the reminders and tips is to always be ready to respond. We should develop to know how to respond when there is trouble. Everyone, including parents, caregivers and older children, should learn CPR and safe rescue techniques to respond to a drowning incident. Water safety is a family affair!
And lastly, we really recommend starting swimming lessons as soon as possible for your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends swim lessons for all children, and their parents, as another layer of water safety. Recent studies suggest that water survival skills training and swim lessons can help reduce drowning risk for all children including those one to four years of age.
The good thing in The Noodies is we cater swimming lessons to all ages. So it is perfect for the whole family! Send us a message for a swimming lesson, we would be happy to teach you and your whole family safe in the water.