During the hot Arkansas summer, spending time at the lake or the pool is a necessity. If you and your baby are going to be near water, follow these tips from your Little Rock OBGYN to reduce the risk of a child drowning near you.
Supervise your children, even if there are lifeguards around. Never leave them unsupervised near a pool, hot tub or natural body of water. It takes seconds for something to go wrong.
Teach your children how to swim. Some babies and toddlers can learn to swim at an early age. Before enrolling your baby or toddler in swimming lessons, consult with your obstetrician to review your baby development chart together. However, remember that children’s swimming lessons cannot serve as a substitute for proper adult supervision.
All parents and child care providers need to learn CPR. Even if you aren’t near water, it is an important skill to have.
Many pools and waterparks have regulations on pool floats, as not all are safe for children. If you have to blow it up, there is a chance that it could get caught on something and pop. When buying floats, use the fabric ones that clip onto your child, or buy a swimsuit with a built in float.
Pools and Spas
If you have a swimming pool or hot tub at home, follow all legal safety requirements. To ensure child safety around a pool or spa at home:
- Safety Fence — Install a safety fence around your pool, with a self-latching gate and lock.
- Safety Alarms — Install safety alarms on your home’s exterior doors. Additionally, use a floating pool alarm or below-water surface alarm. But, keep in mind, alarms cannot substitute for adequate child safety fencing and adult supervision.
- Prevent Access — Use safety covers on your pool and hot tub.
- Remove pool ladders to above-ground pools, and lock them up while the pool is not in use.
- Always empty inflatable pools after use.
- Remove Pool Toys After Use — A child can fall into a pool trying to remove a toy.
- Keep Children Away from Drains — Children’s hair or limbs can become trapped by strong suction from drains.
- Emergency Equipment — Keep a life ring with rope and a shepherd’s crook or reaching pole at your pool-side. Always keep a phone in your pool area. However, do not text or focus on your phone.
Natural Water Areas
Conditions are relatively unpredictable in natural ponds, lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans. Water depth, temperature, currents, and weather can change rapidly. Murky water can obscure hazards. Follow these water safety tips:
- Life Jacket — All children and adults should wear personal safety flotation devices while in a boat. Air-filled swimming aids (like water-wings) are not substitutes for a life jacket.
- Jump vs. Dive — Jump first before diving into any body of open water to check water depth and discover underwater hazards.
- Designated Swim Areas — At public beaches, swim only in designated swimming areas.
Bathtubs and Water Buckets
A baby can drown in merely one inch of water. A toddler can fall head-first into a toilet, fish aquarium, or bucket of water. Use these water safety precautions in and around your home:
- Keep Bathroom Doors Closed — Install a child safety doorknob cover or latch on bathroom doors.
- Supervise Bathing — Never leave a child unattended in a bathtub or in the care of an older child. Drain bathtub water immediately after use.
- Store Buckets Safely — Empty all water containers immediately after use. Do not leave these outdoors, where water can accumulate in them.
For More Information
For more information on water safety for babies or for other questions to ask your gynecologist, contact The Woman’s Clinic at (501) 222-4175 to schedule an appointment with a Little Rock OBGYN.