It is that time of the year – the days are long, the sun is high and swimming season is upon us! Whether you lounge at the pool, hit the lake or spend the day at the ocean, water safety for babies is absolutely critical. As a new mom, this can be stressful and if you’ve done it before, you know it only gets crazier the more your family grows. So before you pack up the pool bag, the cabana and all the other gear your family needs, let’s think “Safety First!”
It’s all about the Touch: “Touch supervision” in the water means that your child is never so far that you can’t touch him. Even if he’s in a flotation device or wearing a life vest, it takes one big splash or wave for the water to be too much. If you need to get out of the water for a moment, take your child with you. Even running to the sand or the lounge chair for just a second is a moment too long. Again, always have your child within your reach.
Safeguards in Place: When everyone is out of the water, you want it to stay that way. That means that your little one shouldn’t have the opportunity – or reason – to toddle, tumble or crawl back in. When you’re taking a break, take the toys with you so that they don’t pose a distraction. Ensure that any pool fences are closed – and latched – if you’re no longer in the pool area. If you’re at the beach, have your baby with you on the sand and not able to access the water, even at the shoreline.
No Children Allowed: All too often, adults are having fun and ask one of the kids to “keep an eye on things” for a minute. When it comes to water safety, this is not the way to go. The person in charge of your baby near the water should either be you, your spouse or another trusted adult/babysitter. Your nephew, your neighbor’s daughter or that nice friend who’s visiting – none of these should be responsible for your child around water. It’s too easy for children to get caught up in the fun of summer activities – and too easy for things to happen when there are lots of children around – to entrust your baby to just anyone. So, be the adult.
Phone: Foe or Friend? Let’s admit it – our smartphones are incredibly helpful yet incredibly distracting for us. It’s no different when it comes to water safety. First, you want to have your phone on you should you have any issues or need to make an emergency call. It’s always good to have a means of getting in. However, you should never let your phone distract you from your child, especially around water. The compromise? Find a protective bag or carrier for your phone and keep it there. It’ll stay dry and safe should you need it but not take your attention away from what’s important.
Are You Certified? As a mom, you may have already thought about doing this – or already have done it – but it is never bad to be CPR-certified. Like insurance, it is one of those things that you never know if you’ll need it but if you do, you’ll be glad you have it. Knowing CPR just gives your family, even when you’re not at the water, that extra layer of protection that will help you sleep better at night.
Parenting at the pool, the lake or the ocean definitely involves more detail but when it comes to water safety for your baby, you want to be at the top of your game. So play it safe and happy summering!
Your Baby Pibu Team