Summer in Texas means water, water everywhere! Community and backyard pools are at their busiest during the months of June and July, and this is also the time people flock to the shores around Galveston and the Texas Gulf Coast. With all this water fun, it easy to let your guard down, but remember, water safety is paramount, especially for small children. Please remember these basic water and sun safety tips as well as review them with your children and other caregivers. When it comes to water safety, seconds count, so stay nearby and pay attention.
- Always stay within arm’s reach of small children in the water. This applies to big kids, too, if their swimming skills aren’t strong.
- Put down the cell phone and pay attention. Even if you take your eyes away for just a minute, you could miss a child in distress – drowning is silent.
- Do not leave kids unattended near the water. If you have a backyard pool and have to run into the house for a snack or drink, even if it is something quick, make everyone get out of the water and either come inside with you, or stay on the outside of the pool fence.
- If you have a home pool and you cannot find your child, check the water first. Unfortunately, kids who drown in home pools are usually only missing for a few minutes and are under the care of one or both parents.
- Avoid alcohol use when in or near the water. Being wet and having parts of your body submerged can make you feel cooler even if you are becoming dehydrated from the alcohol and sun. Drink lots of water whether you are thirsty or not.
- At the beach, always keep a close eye on your child, even if he/she is just playing at the water’s edge. A strong wave can come up even on a calm day and can easily knock little ones off their feet.
- When playing in the surf, look out for patches of seaweed as they may hide jellyfish or other dangerous animals.
- Never swim alone at the beach even if you are a strong swimmer.
Let’s stay safe while we have fun this summer!