Last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported drowning to be one of the top five causes of death for children aged between 1 and 14 years. Globally, the highest drowning rates are divided between children aged 1–4 years, followed by those aged 5–9 years. These shocking statistics make water safety rules for kids all the more important. And a recent tragic incident has once again reminded us of just that.
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In a shocking incident, a father in China saw his entire family getting wiped out within no time. Both his daughter and wife drowned in front of his eyes, as he stood helpless.
First, his daughter jumped into the river following an argument between her parents. Then, in a state of desperation, the mother jumped into the river, despite not knowing how to swim.
Here’s what happened on that fateful day.
16-year-old Girl And Her Mum Drown In River
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The 16-year-old girl from Wuxing District in Zhejiang, China, allegedly jumped into the river after an argument with her parents about her phone. According to reports, the parents were forbidding her from using it any further.
In fact, the family were out shopping, when the argument started. The girl was playing with her mobile phone when her parents –like any –asked her to stop. This infuriated the girl and she jumped into the river (that was by the side of the road). In a desperate attempt to save her daughter, the mother jumped next, but couldn’t survive either.
Their bodies were fished out hours later. Our heart goes all out to the father who lost his family. And we can only hope that this doesn’t happen to anybody else.
But this tragic news is an unfortunate reminder of the importance of water safety rules for kids and why they shouldn’t be ignored. If you are a concerned parent, who may be sending your children out to swim, here are a few things you must remember.
8 Water Safety Rules For Kids
We all know that swimming is a great exercise for kids as well as for adults. But, did you know that it can also turn fatal if precautions are not taken? In the United States, for instance, people die from drowning every 10 minutes. One out of every five drowning victims is a child.
So, as parents, whenever your kids are near water, keep an eye on them. Here are 8 water safety rules for kids, every parent must also remember.
1) Never swim alone
This applies to both adults and kids. You should never swim alone. Tell your child to always swim with a friend or sibling. If you can’t be present physically, you must ask a responsible adult to accompany your child.
Even the kids who are strong swimmers need supervision. Plus, it is always more fun to swim with a friend. This also ensures there is someone who you can help if something goes wrong.
2) Always make your child wear a life-vest
Young children or even inexperienced swimmers should wear a life jacket in the water. There are plenty of fancy products that are available in the market for your child.
Water wings, floaties, pool noodles will help your child stay afloat. But, this should never be an excuse to ignore other water safety rules for kids.
3) Never leave your kids unsupervised
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For instance, you have gone to a pool party with your friends and your kids. You may decide to chill with your friends, while you tell your kids to go and play. Even though you may decide to relax, but you ought to be careful as well. Kids should never be left unsupervised in front of the water.
4) Never consume alcohol in water
This applies to older kids and adults. You should never consume alcohol in or around water. Alcohol impairs judgment, coordination and balance. It affects a person’s ability to swim well, thus increasing the chances of drowning.
5) Enter the water ‘feet first’
Severe injuries can occur when kids jump or dive headfirst into shallow water. Make sure your child understands the proper way to enter and exit the pool.
Before they try jumping and diving, they need to learn the correct way of doing it. If your pool doesn’t have a designated area for diving, you should tell your kids never to attempt jumping directly.
6) Don’t swim in risky areas
Young kids are full of enthusiasm and yes they are risk-takers. They often don’t understand that taking risk is not always good.
There are many incidents of such tragic deaths, where older kids have drowned after they swam into a risky zone. There are some areas, that are already marked unsafe for swimming. So always ask kids to stay away from such areas.
7) Learn and teach CPR
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No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen anytime. To protect yourself and your children from such incidents, try to learn to perform CPR.
As a parent supervising children, it’s important to be familiar with life-saving techniques. Here are the steps, according to Red Cross.
Before giving the baby a CPR:
1. Check the area and the child. For instance, if there is a fire.
2. Then see to it that the area is safe. Next, tap the child on the shoulder and shout “Are you OK?”
2. If the child does not respond, call the emergency number-999
3. With the child lying on his or her back, tilt the head back slightly and lift the chin.
4. Then try to carefully, for no more than 10 seconds, for sounds of breathing.
5. If the child is not breathing, try two rescue breaths.
If the child is unresponsive to the rescue breath, begin CPR
1. Kneel beside the child or baby.
2. For children, place the heel of one hand on the center of the chest, then place the heel of the other hand on top of the first hand, and intertwine your fingers. Deliver 30 quick compressions that are each about two inches deep. For infants, use just your two fingers to deliver 30 quick compressions. These should be about 1.5 inches deep.
3. Give two rescue breaths.
4. Continue these, until you see obvious signs of breathing.
8) Educate your child
Water safety rules for kids are as important as road safety rules. They can save lives. As parents, you will need to lead by example and teach your children the rules by following them yourself.
Remember, to keep your eyes and ears open while you venture into the water. Don’t jump into the water if you don’t know how to swim. If you see someone drowning, call for help and gather the attention of the crowd. Most importantly, practice caution.