Planning on hitting the beach with your family this summer? The weather looks set to improve this weekend, so a quick dip at the beach or at your local pool has never looked so good.
Water activities are a lot of fun, but they can also be dangerous. Water Safety New Zealand recently reported that 81 people drowned in New Zealand in 2013, including five preschoolers. So it is more important than ever for families to keep an eye out for their young ones.
We encourage families to get outside and be active with children, and introduce them to water in a positive and caring manner. Plunket and Water Safety New Zealand have therefore come up with some useful tips to help keep your children safe around water this summer.
All swimming and spa pools must be securely fenced
Teach your child water safety rules such as waiting until an adult can get in the water with them, and not to run near pools. Keep in mind that you may need to remind your child several times, depending on their age.
Always stay with your child in and around the pool
Remember that flotation aids such as arm bands or water rings do not keep your child safe.
Beaches, rivers, lakes and other swimming holes
Be aware of possible hidden dangers such as rips and deep holes. Always stay in the water with young children.
Always have your child within grabbing reach
Watch children carefully if they are paddling or playing at the water’s edge
Young children in any sort of boat must always have a life jacket on. It MUST be the right size.
Around the house and garden
Do not leave buckets or other large containers of water where a young child can reach them
Keep bathroom and laundry doors shut
Small children need to be supervised when playing in paddling pools. Always empty a paddling pool and turn it upside down to prevent water collection.
Fish ponds, stock troughs, drinking ponds and other ornamental containers of water are a risk to children.