During the summer, spending the day at the pool and trips to the beach are popular options for parents to get the kids out of the house and beat the Florida heat. But it’s also one of the deadliest for children under the age of five.
Florida has the highest accidental drowning rate for 1-4 year olds in the United States, with most occurring in residential swimming pools. Younger children can drown in water as shallow as two inches.
These incidents can be prevented by practicing water safety with your children. Adult supervision is the first defense against drowning. There should always be an adult watching when children are swimming. Pools should also have the proper barriers to block children from entering the pool area by themselves such as a self-closing gate and child-proof locks on the doors.
Accidents can happen in just a few minutes and being prepared for an emergency can save a life. Learning CPR is valuable for everyone, even if you are not a parent. There is only a small amount of time to resuscitate a child who has stopped breathing and it is crucial to know what to do, quickly. Having a phone nearby to call 911 is also important.
Teaching your child how to swim can also be beneficial to their safety. Swim lessons are available at all YMCAs across the First Coast for infants and adults. Click here for a complete list of YMCA swim programs in the region. JaxParks also offers swimming lessons for children ages 2 and up throughout the summer. The deadline to register for JaxParks’ first session is June 20. Click here for more information about the JaxParks swim program.