Let’s Be Safe

Let’s Be Safe

This month, we acknowledge National Water Safety Month. We all know the importance of water safety, especially when it comes to babies and toddlers. Necessary safety measures can be the difference between life and death. Water safety is deemed so important, Governor Phil Murphy signed a proclamation on April 12, 2024, declaring May 2024 as Water Safety Month in New Jersey “whereas, the residents of NJ recognize the vital role that swimming and aquatic-related activities relate to good physical and mental health and enhance the quality of life for all people…”

National Water Safety month originated in June 2003 when the World Waterpark Association launched National Safety Week. This initiative grew over the years until The National Recreation and Parks Association, Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, the American Red Cross, and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance all joined forces and key partnerships to make National Water Safety Month a national initiative.

Water is an attraction for babies and children as they observe the movement, splashing, floating and swimming.  They often do not understand the dangers associated with water and how to protect themselves. Toddlers are at the highest risk of drowning and is the leading cause of injury death in children ages 1-4.

How to keep your toddler safe:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends putting layers of protection on your toddler in and out of the water including floaties, vests or preventative clothing
  • Toddlers should be supervised at all times, especially near water
  • Fence in pools on all sides – at least 4-feet high with no openings under it or between that are more than 4 inches wide and locked at all times
  • Keep toys out of the pool to avoid temptation
  • Avoid installing bird baths, fountains and ponds when children are young
  • Prevent open access to wells, irrigation or drainage ditches
  • Use safety gates, door locks and doorknob covers to prevent your child from going outside unnoticed
  • Empty water in buckets, baby pools, coolers, trash cans, etc.
  • Lock bathrooms or use doorknob covers to prevent them from going into a bathroom unattended, install latches on toilet seats and remove bathtub plugs
  • Always use life jackets near natural bodies of water like lakes or rivers
  • Start swim lessons as early as possible – consider parent-child swimming lessons if parents need a refresher
  • Be prepared to respond! All caregivers and older children should learn CPR and safe rescue techniques

It’s important to always remember to be super diligent with your children when around any water.

Source: Healthychildren.org

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