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Hope and Health

Your source to help with your family's health from WVU Medicine Children's

Hope & Health
Articles and Updates from WVU Medicine Children's

05/5/2024 | Injury Prevention and Safety Program

Splashing into Summer: Water Safety for Your Family

We all love summer! What better time to load up the car and take a trip to the beach, lake, or pool? You have your sunscreen, bathing suits, lounge chairs, and umbrellas. Everything you need to relax and enjoy time with your family.

The WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program wants to make sure your summer memories are filled with smiles and laughter, so remember these few safety tips when around water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the number two cause of death among children ages one-to-four years old. It’s important to watch kids when they are in or around water.

Keeping young children within arm’s reach of an adult and using Coast Guard approved life jackets for young swimmers in open water are two steps that can keep your children safe this summer.

Chart courtesy of Alive Solutions.

Visiting lakes and open water areas can often be filled with unexpected depths and murky water. Kids with brightly colored bathing suits are much easier to locate in these areas. Choosing a bathing suit that is neon or reflective is a smart and safe way to ensure your child is visible while swimming.

Chart courtesy of Alive Solutions.

Do you have a private pool in your backyard or in your neighborhood?

Ensure that you have a locking gate at the entrance to your pool to prevent drowning accidents. Many children grow increasingly comfortable in familiar areas, which can decrease their awareness of potentially dangerous activities.

A responsible adult should be present near and around water while children are playing.

Limit access to your pool with appropriate signs that read, “Do Not Enter,” “No Trespassing,” or “Private Access Only.”

Before you jump in this summer, make sure your children know basic water safety skills for open water and private pools.

Local aquatic and community centers often host water safety classes for all ages. During these swim safety sessions, children learn five important water survival skills:

  • Step or jump into water over your head and return to the surface.
  • Float or tread water for one minute.
  • Turn around in a full circle and find an exit.
  • Swim 25 yards to exit the water.
  • Exit the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

Water safety is the responsibility of everyone. Reviewing and practicing water skills builds confidence and keeps children prepared for water fun.

About the Author

Each year, around one in four children sustain an unintentional injury that requires medical care. The WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program provides childproofing education to prevent those injuries. The team consists of Coordinator Remington Rasel, Injury Prevention Specialist Kalie Perdue, and Injury Prevention Specialist Abby Rader.  This group also provides car seat safety education, including car seat inspections and installations. 

Learn more about the Injury Prevention and Safety Program and use their resources.

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