keeping our kids Safe

Kids need constant supervision around water whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, a...

keeping our kids Safe

Kids need constant supervision around water whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach, or a lake.

Young children are especially vulnerable they can drown in less than 2 inches (6 centimeters) of water. That means drowning can happen where you'd least expect it the sink, the toilet bowl, fountains, buckets, inflatable pools, or small bodies of standing water around your home, such as ditches filled with rain water. Always watch children closely when they're in or near any water.

It's a good idea to learn to swim, and kids older than 4 years should learn to swim, too (check the local recreation center for classes taught by qualified instructors). Don't assume, however, that a child who knows how to swim isn't at risk for drowning. It's important to supervise kids while they're in the water, no matter what their swimming skill levels.

Invest in proper-fitting, Coast Guard-approved flotation devices (life vests) and use them whenever a child is near water. Check the weight and size recommendations on the label, then have your child try it on to make sure it fits snugly. For kids younger than 5 years old, choose a vest with a strap between the legs and head support the collar will keep the child's head up and face out of the water. Inflatable vests and arm devices such as water wings are not effective protection against drowning.