By Chris Deshiro
DHAC Aquatics Director
Now that summer is finally here, you and your family will probably spend a lot of time near water. This is a fun and exciting time of year, but it can also be a dangerous one. Two-thirds of all drownings occur between May & August, with children between the ages of 1 and 4 having the highest drowning rate. In honor of May being National Drowning Prevention month, here’s a quick list of ways to help keep your family safe this summer:
- If you have a pool at home, make sure you have a 4-sided fence that is at least 4 ft high. It should have self-closing, self-latching gates. For added safety, you can add an alarm to your gate.
- Always supervise your children when near water, even if there are lifeguards on duty. Teach your kids about basic pool & safety rules. Don’t treat lifeguards as babysitters. Save the reading, texting, or having a drink for later, when they aren’t in the pool.
- Always swim with a buddy. Never swim alone, even if you are a strong swimmer.
- If you use floatation devices, make sure they fit properly. These should be non-inflatable and tested/approved by the US Coast Guard.
- The best way to ensure your family’s safety this summer is to enroll your children in swim lessons. According to the Center for Disease Control, children between the ages of 1 and 4 who are enrolled in formal swim lessons are 88% less likely to drown.
Swimming is not just a fun activity the whole family can enjoy; it is also a life-saving skill. If you follow these tips, you and your family will have a safer, more enjoyable summer. See you at the pool!