July 17, 2014

Always be within arm’s reach of your child when he or she is in or near any open water.

Summer has arrived and for many families that means outdoor fun at the beach or pool.

However, it’s important to remember to take water safety measures to keep your child with special needs safe not only outdoors but also in your home.

Children with special needs are often drawn to the water, but they have a difficult time understanding that it may be dangerous.

To keep your child safe, use these helpful tips from the May Institute.

  • Find an appropriate typical or adaptive life jacket that best meets your child’s needs and ensure your child wears it anytime he or she is near any open water including pools, lakes, rivers, fountains, ponds or hot tubs.
  • Always be within arm’s reach of your child when he or she is in or near any open water.
  • Drain bathtubs and other small containers such as buckets of water when you are finished using them.
  • Install locks on toilet lids.
  • Install motion detector alarms/safety locks on all hot tubs, landscape ponds or other water sources around your home.
  • Take adaptive swim classes with your child to learn swim skills and water safety principles. If your child has difficulty learning conventional swimming strokes, teach him or her drown-proofing, a water survival technique that will help a child stay afloat until help arrives. You can sign up for classes through your local parks and recreation division.

Be sure to explain basic water safety practices to your child on a regular basis and remind your child to never go near or in the water without an adult.

Ensuring the safety of your child near the water this summer will help keep them safe and bring you peace of mind.

Be safe, but remember to have fun!

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide