With the hot weather, the use of swimming pools has increased. However, we have to keep safety in mind. Drowning is still the #1 cause of death in children in ages 1-4, and the third highest cause of death in children ages 5-19. Below is a compilation of recommendations from experts of the American Academy of Pediatrics on how to be safe around pools.
AT BATH TIME
- Keep a hand on your child at all times, even if you use an infant tub or bath seat.
- Have all your bath supplies ready within easy reach before turning on the water.
- To avoid burns, water temperature must be 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
- Remove all bath toys after bath so child is not tempted to climb back into the tub.
- Keep toilet seats down & bathroom doors closed when not in use.
AT BATH TIME
• Keep a hand on your child at all times, even if you use an infant tub or bath seat.
• Have all your bath supplies ready within easy reach before turning on the water.
• To avoid burns, water temperature must be 120 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
• Remove all bath toys after bath so child is not tempted to climb back into the tub.
• Keep toilet seats down & bathroom doors closed when not in use.
AT THE POOL
• Children under 6 years of age who can’t swim 50 meters (164 ft = size of Olympic pool) should be kept in arms reach.
• Children who are able to swim 50 Meters (164 ft) unassisted, should not be let out of your sight.
• Children should always wear US Coast Guard-Approved life jackets when near or on a body of water (pools, lakes, oceans, etc.)
• Caretakers should not drink alcoholic beverages or use mind-altering substances while watching children in the pool, lake, ocean or other bodies of water.
• If multiple young children are in the pool, designate other adults or responsible teens as “water watchers”.
• After using a baby pool, empty it out & turn it upside-down.
• Remove all toys from the pool so the children are not tempted to get back in and play.
• Secure your own pool on all four sides with a 4 ft high, self-latching fence.
• Always wear sunscreen when outdoors, especially in the pool.
• Sunscreen with SPF 30 blocks 97 % of the suns UVB rays; no sunscreen can block 100% on the suns UVB rays.
SUNSCREEN FOR INFANTS
• FDA recommends that infants under 6 months of age be kept out of the sun, and avoid exposure to the sun in the hours between 10 AM – 2 PM when Ultraviolet (UV) rays are most intense.
• Best protection is to keep baby in the shade; if there is no natural shade, use an umbrella or a canopy.
• The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) suggests dressing infants in light weight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, & wide-brimmed hats that shade the whole body.
• In the heat, babies are at a greater risk of dehydration. Make sure they are adequately hydrated by offering their usual feeding of breast milk or formula. Use a cooler to store liquids.
• Warning signs of sunburn or dehydration include fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
• If your baby is sunburned, get out of the sun right away & apply cold compresses to affected area(s).