Our July Au Pair Meeting is dedicated to Water Safety Education

  • Have you known anyone who was a victim of drowning or near-drowning?
  • Can you think of some scenarios that could pose a risk of drowning to your host children? Does your host family have a pool? A boat? How can you protect them from those risks?
  • Do your responsibilities include bathing your host children? If you were in the middle of giving your kids a bath and the phone started ringing, what would you do?

To help you prepare for the quiz, here are the answers! 🙂

  • Drowning takes the lives of many children each year – Approximately 1,000 kids ages 14 and under drown each year.
  • Kids can drown in as little as one inch of water and are therefore at risk of drowning in wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs as well as swimming pools, lakes, rivers and oceans.
  • More than half of drownings among infants (under age 1) occur in bathtubs. The majority of bathtub drownings occur in the absence of adult supervision.
  • Children can start to drown within seconds of coming into contact with water. Childhood drowning and near-drowning can happen in a matter of seconds and typically occur when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision.
  • The majority of child drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools.
  • Most pool related drownings or near drownings occur in the child’s own pool. More than half of pool-related drownings or near-drownings occur in the kid’s home pool and one-third at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives.
  • There are many things homeowners can do to help ensure water safety. Installation of 4-sided isolation fencing, at least 5 feet high, equipped with self-closing and self-latching gates, could prevent 50 to 90 percent of childhood residential swimming pool drownings and near-drownings. Door alarms, pool alarms and automatic pool covers, when used correctly, can add an extra level of protection.
  • Half of all children who drown in boating-related accidents were not wearing life jackets or personal flotation devices. It is estimated that half of all drowning events among recreational boaters from 2000 to 2006 could have been prevented if life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) were worn.

Here are ways to help prevent a tragedy from happening:

  • Never leave a child unsupervised in or around water in the home. Empty all sinks, tubs and buckets immediately after use. Store all containers upside down and out of reach.
  • Do not rely on a bath support ring to keep a baby safe in the tub without adult supervision.
  • Never leave a child unsupervised in or around a swimming pool or spa, even for a moment. A child can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone. All wading and inflatable pools should be emptied of water when not in use.
  • Teach children to practice safe water habits. They should always wade into water first before diving or jumping to avoid hitting their heads on a shallow bottom. Children should not push or jump on others in the water.
  • Children should never swim alone.
  • Never let older children swim in unsupervised areas like quarries, canals or ponds. Older children are at risk of drowning when they overestimate their swimming ability.
  • Make sure children are swimming in designated areas in oceans, lakes and rivers. Look for clear water with little or no current and check the depth of the water before swimming or diving.
  • Children over age 3 should learn to swim from qualified instructors but caregivers should keep in mind that lessons do not make children “drown-proof.” Never rely on a life jacket/personal flotation device (PFD) or swimming lessons to protect a kid.
  • Adults and children over age 13 should learn infant and child CPR.
  • Children should not dive in water unless an adult is present and knows that the water is more than nine feet deep.
  • Adults should not rely on pool covers or alarms to prevent children from drowning. Also, water must be kept from collecting on the surface of pool covers.
  • Children and adults should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket/personal flotation device (PFD) when on a boat, near open bodies of water or when participating in water sports. Air-filled swimming aids, such as “water wings,” are not considered safety devices and are not substitutes for life jackets/personal flotation devices (PFDs).

If you want additional training:
Au Pairs can sign up for a local lifesaving course. The Red Cross provides training programs for virtually any life-threatening situation. Au pairs can find local classes by going to the Red Cross website.

Sunday, 18 June 2017 10:15 PM

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