Just log onto your computer, check your gmail or even pop here onto CafeMom, and you can't miss a story, a post, a blurb about a child in harm's way or some sort of news bit about child safety. I saw this one the other day...and it had good news...sort of.
A new study found that fewer kids are dying by drowning, and that the rate of children hospitalized due to "drowning-related incidents" was down by about half from the number in the early 1990s. Which is great news, right? Yes, you betcha...and researchers and health officials feel like we are all doing a good job keeping our kids safe and getting the word out about water safety.
But -- and you knew there would be a but -- there are still 1,000 kids who die each year from drowning. The article goes on to give the stats: drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for kiddos from one to 19 years old.
So, where does that leave us? It leaves us still doing what we are doing -- and more, I think. First and foremost, make sure your kids can swim. There are few vital life skills that fall into the same category as knowing how to swim. Also, keeping in mind (and reminding our fellow moms) how to teach our kids water safety. A few things I've heard and was glad to be reminded of:
-- Even if your older children are great swimmers, it is not okay for them to swim unattended. Go over water rules every time you and your kids are around bodies of water: no pushing or horsing around by a pool or lake or any other water area, and never swim alone.
-- Never leave your children unattended in the bathtub, even to go check on the dinner or to answer the phone.
-- Know which friends have pools and check to be sure those pools have proper safety equipment, fences and so on if the kids are playing in the backyard and that the parents have the same idea of what water safety means as you do.
How have you taught your children water safety?