School is out here and my little fish are ready for some water fun. And, while they’re focused on maximizing that water fun, I’ve got my mind on water safety! I love watching them play at the pool and the beach (the operative word being, “watch”). I’m here to make sure you know what to watch for, as I join The ZAC Foundation in raising awareness on the importance of water safety.
About The ZAC Foundation
The ZAC Foundation is named for Zachary Archer Cohn, who died at the age of 6, after his arm became trapped by the suction of a pool drain. The ZAC Foundation was established to prepare children and families for a lifetime of water safety and most of their safety programming targets children ages 5-9. The organization works to strengthen pool safety legislation and funds advocacy, education and effective programming surrounding water safety.
I’ve learned a great deal on their site and I’m grateful that I can partner with them to help encourage parents to focus on water safety this summer and beyond.
On The Importance of Water Safety
Here are a few statistics that I’m thinking about as I write:
- Between 2012 and 2014, 64% of reported non-fatal drownings were suffered by children between the ages of 1 and 3.
- African American children between the ages of 5 and 19 are 5.5 times more likely to drown in pools than white children that age and African American children 11-12 years old drown in pools at 10 times the rate of white children.
- On average, 382 children younger than 15 fatally drowned each year between 2010 and 2012 in pools or spas, with 76% of the victims being younger than 5.
I hope these statistics don’t scare you, but I do want to emphasize just how important it is for us to ensure our children are safe near the water. I also want to emphasize the value of exposing your children to water activities early and often.
We’ve watched our kids swim and play since they were small and when I consider those statistics on African American children, I’m glad we put them in swim classes when they were young. We even
forced them allowed them to join the community swim team for a season–it was a great way for them to build their swimming skills and become more confident and comfortable in the water. It was also a great way to reinforce water safety and the skills they acquired helped to greatly reduce my anxiety when we’re at the beach. Now, on to some practical steps you can take to keep your kids safe (and if you want to dig deeper into the data, you can do that here).
The ABC&D’s of Water Safety
- ADULT: Never leave children alone near or in a pool, ocean, lake, or river. Children should be taught to never swim without an adult present.
- BARRIER: Have a four-sided fence that goes around your pool with a self-locking gate.
- CLASSES: Kids and adults should take safety classes like swim lessons and CPR.
- DRAINS: ALL swimmers should stay away from all pool and spa drains to avoid becoming trapped by the suction. The ZAC Foundation has developed a drain entrapment video that’s well worth watching.
The ZAC Foundation provides a wealth of water safety tips, resources and programming for parents and children birth to teenagers, including ZAC Camps. Spend some time on their website and then spend some time talking about water safety as a family.
I’ll leave you with a chance to win one of 15 summer fun kits (ARV $50). Here’s what’s inside:
- The ZAC Foundation Children’s Book: The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim
- Beach towel
- Water Watcher Card
The giveaway will end 6/13/16 at 9 p.m PT. Winners will be randomly selected and notified by Clever Girls and/or The ZAC Foundation by June 20
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What are your tips for water safety? Let’s chat about them in the comments or on Twitter and Facebook.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.