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Video:Children and Water Safety

with Kathy Moore

Playing in water can be a fun activity for the whole family, but be sure to follow these basic water safety rules in pools or open water.See Transcript

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Transcript:Children and Water Safety

Hi, I'm Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of death for children under the age of 14? I worked as a lifeguard and swimming instructor when I was younger and I have seen firsthand too many close calls with kids around water. This program is about basic water safety for children.

Stay Within Reach

Whether you are at the beach, a pool, or even at home in the bathtub, children should always be under arms-length supervision around water. Even children who know how to swim need to be supervised.

Keep Fatigued Kids Out of Water

If you notice your children are fatigued or disoriented, get them out of the water immediately. While swimming accidents can happen at any time, they are more likely to occur if your child is tired or confused or even too cold.

Use Flotation Devices

When we go to the beach I put my kids in Coast Guard-approved floatation devices or life jackets. Don't let your guard down though. Use of floatation devices does not replace the need for constant supervision. I also have my kids wear aqua socks or water shoes in case there are any sharp rocks or hidden hazards in the water. Be sure to watch out for weeds or other submerged growth that may entangle your swimmers.

Review Water Safety Rules

If we go to a pool I always review the safety rules with my kids before we get in the water. Those rules are pretty much the same from pool to pool: No running, No diving except in approved areas. Again, don't leave children unsupervised in or near the water.

Empty Wading Pools

Especially with young children, drowning can happen in as little as 2 inches of water. So if you have a wading pool at home be sure to empty it each day when the kids are through playing.

Practice Water Park Safety

Water parks seem to be more popular than ever these days. If you take your children to a water park, make sure you evaluate which areas are appropriate for your children's age and skill level.

Make an Emergency Plan

Lastly have a plan for what to do in an emergency. Keep a phone nearby so you can call for help. And why not take a CPR refresher course when you have the chance. Swimming can be fun and relaxing for the whole family and a few simple steps can help prevent unwanted tragedy.

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