Water Smarts

Remember safety when around waterDrowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children between one and four years old, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. And, it is the third leading cause of death among all children.

Use these rules to help increase your water smarts:

Rule 1 – Learn how to swim

Swimming lessons teach valuable skills like how to float and hold your breath. All of these skills could save your life.  

Rule 2 – Swim with a grown-up

When you are in or around water, always make sure a grown-up is with or watching you.

Did you know kids drown in water at places other than swimming pools and lakes? Each year, kids drown in bathtubs, buckets and even toilets.

Rule 3 – Life jackets are cool

Life jackets or personal floatation devices float. Always wear a life jacket when on things like a boat or personal watercraft. If your swimming skills need work, it is always a good idea to wear one when around water too.

Rule 4 – Go feet first and prepare for the worst

Hidden hazards like rocks, trees and even a shallow bottom can hide underwater. Always check with a grown-up before getting into the water. A grown-up can check for hidden water hazards. When you do get in, protect the brain and spine by always getting in feet first.

Did you know diving accounts for two-thirds of recreational spinal cord injuries? Spinal cord injuries may result in paralysis or the ability to move. Spinal cord injuries can last forever.

Rule 5 – Uh-oh, better throw

If someone falls in the water, find something that floats to throw them. You can throw things like a life jacket, cooler or empty plastic soda bottle. Always make sure to call the local emergency number to get help. Olathe’s emergency number is 911.

Rule 6 -  Ice, Ice safety

During the cold weather months, bodies of water like lakes and ponds can freeze over with ice. Ice strength depends upon many factors like water depth, body of water size and water currents. To guess the strength of ice is impossible. Factors like the ice’s age, daily temperature, snow cover, thickness or even appearance do not provide all the information you need to stay safe. The best way to stay safe is to stay off!

Did you know ice usually freezes at different thicknesses? Ice may be 10 inches thick in one spot and only one inch thick just feet away.

By remembering some simple rules, you can have water smarts.