Water Safety Tips – June 2013

As the summer heats up, Ebenezer Child Care Centers wants to remind parents about the importance of watching children around water, whether it is indoors or outdoors.

According to Beverly Anderson, Executive Director of Ebenezer Child Care Centers with locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Greenfield, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa, “Children love playing in water, particularly on hot summer days. Parents need to be diligent about watching their children while they are doing so.

“Drowning is a quick and silent killer. In the 10 seconds it takes to walk and get a towel, a child in shallow water can accidently become submerged. During a two-minute phone conversation, a child can lose consciousness. Within four to six minutes, a child can sustain permanent brain damage. These are all frightening statistics that can easily be prevented.”

Here are some useful water safety tips for protecting your family.

Supervise and Protect Your Children
Anderson says children should never be left unsupervised in or near water, including bathtubs and shallow wading pools. She adds that devices such as bathtub seats or water wings cannot be relied upon to keep children afloat and alive.

She also says that, as a parent, you need to know where all neighborhood pools are, and talk to your children about how they are never permitted to be in or around water without adult supervision.
When it comes to little kiddy pools and buckets, Anderson says you should always empty these items immediately after use, and store them upside-down and out of children’s reach.

If you are at the ocean, river, or lake, pay constant attention to undercurrents and changing waves and undertows. And, never let a child dive into water unless it is greater than nine feet deep, the child knows the proper diving techniques, and an adult is present.

Enroll Your Children In Swimming Lessons and Take CPR
Anderson says, when it comes to keeping your children safe, the most important thing you can do is to enroll them in swimming lessons taught by a qualified, Red Cross-certified instructors.

If you don’t know how to swim, Anderson recommends that you also enroll with your children to learn this important life skill. Another skill she recommends is CPR.

“It can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to drownings and other emergencies.”
Teach Children That Safety Always Comes First

While swimming lessons are an important step to ensuring water safety with your children, Anderson is quick to point out that they do not make a child “drown-proof.”

She says children need to learn other water safety lessons as well, including:
• Never swim or participate in water sports in oceans, rivers, or lakes without a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal safety device within arm’s reach
• Only swim in pools that have rescue equipment
• Always have a cell phone poolside in the event of an emergency
• Never swim by a pool drain and always pin up long hair to reduce the risk of it getting caught in filters

“Playing in the water is meant to be a fun activity. By following these simple tips, parents can help ensure that it will be,” says Anderson.

Ebenezer Child Care Centers is a not-for-profit, locally based agency committed to providing early childhood programs from the heart. The agency prides itself on being different from other child care providers in that it offers a home-like atmosphere; individualized, nurturing care; and a structured curriculum that is virtues-based for every child’s developmental stage.

Every Ebenezer Child Care Center focuses on all aspects of a child’s development: cognitive, physical, emotional, and social. In addition to providing quality care, the agency also offers a variety of free Family Fun Nights and other educational programming all aimed at helping parents.

The agency has locations in downtown Milwaukee, on Milwaukee’s southside, in Greenfield, Mequon, Oak Creek, and Wauwatosa. The agency’s main office is located at 1496 South 29th Street, Milwaukee. For more information, please call 414-643-5070.