New parents have a lot on their plates, including responsibilities they are just learning and of course some good ol’ fashioned sleep deprivation. In those first few wonderful, frantic months of parenthood it’s easy for some basics – like baby water safety – to slip through the cracks. Here are five water safety tips that new parents should keep in mind in a variety of circumstances, from bath time to baby swim classes.
- Never leave your baby unattended in the water. Sounds like common sense and it is but it’s surprisingly easy to get distracted when you’re a new parent, and all it takes is a second for an accident to happen. Maintain constant supervision of your child in any water environment, no matter how shallow the water.
- Take an infant-child CPR course. Ideally, do this prior to your baby’s birth so you’re ready to go right out of the gate. In the event of an accident, knowing CPR gives you precious minutes to care for your child while emergency help arrives.
- Floatation devices are no substitute for supervision. Floatation devices and inflatable toys can create a false sense of security. These devices can quickly shift position, deflate or come loose and create a drowning hazard. Do not use them as a substitute for supervision.
- Enroll your baby in an early swim-water survival course. If your baby can swim or at least demonstrate basic water survival skills, he or she will be much safer in or near the water. There’s no foolproof method to prevent drowning accidents, but baby learning programs for early swim can greatly reduce water danger.
- Practice sun safety for kids. Water play often occurs outdoors and sun safety is an important part of water safety for babies. Use a sunscreen, appropriate clothing and a large hat to protect your baby from the sun. Also make sure they stay hydrated in hot weather.
These tips are not all there is to say on the topic of water safety for babies, but keep them in mind and you will have a head start in protecting your child from drowning and common water hazards.