Water is everywhere and can be great fun for toddlers who love to make a splash in a pool or bathtub. No matter the type of water, however, water safety is incredibly important to learn, especially at a young age.
The Hard Facts
Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between 1 and 4 years old. And it’s the third leading cause of injury-related death for children 19 and under, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Another hard fact: Teaching children, especially toddlers, the importance of water safety is no easy feat. I have gathered a few useful water safety resources to help parents and guardians convey important water safety and drowning prevention guidelines to young ones, starting with:
Pool Safely Activity Sheet
Pool Safely is a terrific place to gather useful water safety and drowning prevention information, whether you are a parent, guardian, or residential pool owner. This site is full of videos, brochures, tip sheets that make it very easy to take in important information for keeping yourself and your family safe. One of these resources is the Pool Safely Activity Sheet. Print out this helpful coloring sheet during coloring & craft time to engage your toddler while you talk to them about pool safety. This coloring sheet provides a visual reminder of essential water safety skills for your little one. You can download the Pool Safely Activity Sheet here.
Sort It Out
Provide images of safe and unsafe water skills and let your child decide the proper way to act around water. You can choose to print out these images from a computer, hand draw, or cut different components from a magazine. Safe examples can include a child that is walking instead of running near a pool or a young child with a parent in the pool. Some unsafe examples might be a child swimming alone without an adult present or a swimmer diving into a shallow area of water. Allow your child to sort the images and determine what is safe and what is not. Then, go over pool safety practices after sorting is complete.
Pretend Play & Pledge
Pretend or dramatic play activities offer children the opportunity to practice important water safety skills without the danger of real water. Outline the floor with blue tape or set out a blue blanket to indicate a pool, beach, or lake. Teach your child to look for you or a guardian before carefully getting into the “water” and to never run near the blue area. After he or she has reviewed this and other important water safety guidelines, you and your child can take the Pool Safely pledge together. Say the pledge out loud and have your child do the same to finish out play time!
Practice Makes Perfect
According to the Lifesaving Society, the majority of backyard pool-drowning victims under five years old were alone when they took an accidental plunge in the pool. This is why it’s important for parents and guardians to provide supervision at all times without a second to spare. In the event that a child does fall into the water and supervision is not present, the Infant Aquatic Survival program, a program that focuses on survival swimming and the roll-to-back-float method, can save his or her life. Tune into the video below to learn more about the Infant Aquatic Survival program:
As an Infant Aquatic Survival Expert, I’m here to answer any of your questions regarding this program and other ways to keep your child safe this swim season. Please feel free to contact me.