Child drowning has been all over the news this week, so we at ToySplash encourage you to take a few moments to assess your family’s water safety habits, skills, and policies. Drowning is tragic and devastating, but preventable.
Are you following the BARS method?
Barriers: pool fences are critical. Similarly, stow inflatable and kiddie pools out of the reach of children, who may try to fill them on their own. Your own backyard is not the only concern: find out if babysitters, friends, neighbors, or any other place your child may go have pool fences. Insist upon fencing before leaving your kids.
Ability: does every member of your family know how to swim? Enroll in swim classes and practice, practice, practice! You want your children to be comfortable swimmers so even if they fall into a pool, they can calmly swim to the steps and get out. How about CPR? Have the grown-ups and teenagers in your household taken CPR classes yet? It’s not too late! If you leave your children with babysitters, verify that any person you entrust to care for your children is also able to perform CPR.
Rules: make your water safety rules universal. It doesn’t matter if they are at your home or at someone else’s, teach your children that they are NEVER to go swimming without adult supervision, regardless of whether another adult says it’s ok. The same goes for running around a swimming pool, horseplay, and unsafe diving practices. Your rules govern your child, not just your backyard. If you own small kiddie pools, inflatable pools, or wading pools, make sure your kids know they are never allowed to use them without your permission and assistance.
Supervision: There is no substitute for attentive adult supervision. If you are not actively watching the children in your swimming pool, you are not supervising them. It takes only moments for a child to silently slip under the water and drown. If you’re engrossed in your book, your television show, your text messages, or your conversation, you can miss it. Be alert.
At ToySplash, we want to remind you to keep summer fun by keeping everyone safe in the water!