Warm weather is quickly approaching and water is a great way to beat the Texas heat. The Legislature designated April as Water Safety Month to create water safety awareness and prevent water-related injuries and deaths. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death among infants, toddlers, and young children so the Department of Family and Protective Services and Child Care Licensing want to remind you to, Watch Kids Around Water.
You play an important role in preventing future tragedies. In 2015 seventy-five children drowned in Texas. The deadliest period for drowning (Memorial Day through Labor Day) is about to begin and fourteen children have drowned in Texas so far in 2016. The best water safety assurance comes from adopting and consistently practicing as many water safety measures as possible. Review your safety plan to prevent access to bodies of water, especially onsite swimming pools. Safety plans can address door locks, door alarms, pool fences, self-closing and self-latching hardware, and emergency procedures. All caregivers should know your safety plan and practice the plan regularly.
Be a "lifeguard" and help protect children from drowning indoors and outdoors. Drowning can happen in almost any amount of water and it only takes a few minutes for a child to drown. Children under a year old most often drown inside the house (bathtubs, buckets, or toilets). Children from one to four-years old most often drown outdoors, especially in backyard swimming pools.
Visit our campaign website, Watch Kids Around Water. It features basic water safety tips and safety tips specific to child care and 24-hour residential child care, drowning statistics and a “Lifeguard 101” teaching tool to get people talking about and sharing water safety information.
Have a safe and happy summer.
For more information about water safety for children, please visit:
- Texas Child Care Quarterly:http://www.childcarequarterly.com/spring14_licensing.html
- Watch Kids Around Water: www.dfps.state.tx.us/Watch_Kids_Around_Water/.
- Colin's Hope: www.colinshope.org
- Water Safety Guide from Safe Kids USA: www.safekids.org/safety-basics/safety-guide/water-safety-guide/.
- Pool Safety from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: www.poolsafely.gov/.
- Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts: http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html
- Pool User Information Fact Sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/pdf/swimmning/resources/pool-user-tips-factsheet.pdf