Toddlers and young children are often drawn to water because they are active, curious, and eager to learn about their surroundings. However, children don't know that water can be dangerous, and they aren't old enough to know what to do if they get into trouble. So, keeping them safe from water dangers is important.
When a child is young, he or she is most likely to drown. Most children who die between the ages of 1 and 4 do so because they drown. Small children can drown in as little as an inch or two of water, and this can happen quickly and quietly.
Toddlers are most likely to drown when they get to water quickly and without being watched. This includes swimming pools, hot tubs and spas, bathtubs, and natural bodies of water like ponds. It also includes standing water in homes or childcare programs. For example, 69 percent of all drownings of children ages 4 and under happen when they are not swimming.
This summer, here are some important things to do to avoid drowning:
Fence Swimming Areas
Researchers have found that fencing can prevent more than half of the deaths of young children who drown in swimming pools. A fence should go around all four sides of a swimming pool, including big inflatable above-ground pools and other temporary pools.
The fence should:
Always lock the gate, and make sure it works by checking it often. When the pool isn't being used, keep toys out of the area so that children won't be tempted to try to get through the fence. Also, make sure that hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools are always locked and covered right after you use them.
Get rid of or block other water hazards. There are ponds, fountains, and bird baths. Even though these can be nice additions to a yard or other outdoor space, you might want to wait until your child is older to put them in or use them.
Avoid children leaving unnoticed
You can keep your toddler from going outside without you knowing by using safety gates, door locks, or doorknob covers. Make sure that everyone in the family or childcare program knows to always close the door behind them so that younger children don't follow them out.
Water containers should be emptied right after you use them.
Never leave a full water bottle with an open cap unattended. Make sure to completely empty containers like these when you're not using them:
Bathrooms need to be watched
Small children can hurt themselves in the bathroom. They can hit their heads on toilet bowls and full tubs, or they can burn themselves with too-hot water. Use safety latches or doorknob covers to keep the bathroom door closed when no one is using it. Install locks or latches on the toilet seat lids for extra safety and take out the bathtub drain plug when it's not being used so that if a child turns on the faucet, the tub won't fill up.
Always keep a close eye on children in and around the water.
When toddlers are in or near water, pay them your full attention. It's important to stay away from activities that can make it hard to keep an eye on children.
While in water, touch supervision should be used.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that you should always be within arm's length of your child when he or she is bathing or swimming. Most kids who drown at home do so in bathtubs, usually when no adult is watching them.
During swim time, tell parents to get in the water with their toddlers. Even if there are lifeguards around, you should take your child with you if you must leave the water.
We here at H&H Child Care Training understand the importance of injury prevention and water safety trainings and have created updated courses to satisfy most state requirements. Some of the injury prevention courses that we offer are “1, 2, 3, Eyes on Me: Classroom Safety”, Brain Injury Awareness in Young Children”, “Injury Prevention: Their Safety is in Your Hands” just to name a few. To see a full list of all the injury prevention classes that we offer please click here and schedule your next training today!
H & H Child Care Training Courses grant .2 CEUs or more as well as awarding state approved clock hours of 2 or more for all childcare centers, and family childcare providers in many states. Check with your licensing agency to check for any additional requirements and to see if we are approved in your home state.
Drowning prevention for curious toddlers: What parents need to know. HealthyChildren.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Water-Safety-And-Young-Children.aspx