MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Memorial Day weekend is known as the unofficial kickoff to summer, which means kids will be spending more time outside, and in the water.
To prepare for more time outside and in the water, UW Health kids is offering water safety tips to keep kids safe this summer.
Safe Kids Worldwide reports that nearly 800 kids a year die from accidental drownings, making it a leading cause of preventable injury-related death among children between one and four years old.
While water activities can be fun ways for kids and families to spend the summer months, they shouldn’t result in as many injuries and deaths as they do each year, according to UW Health Kids child safety and injury prevention manager Rishelle Eithun.
“Drowning is one of the most preventable causes of death in children,” Eithun said. “Families never think it could happen to them until it does. Thankfully there are a number of things that parents and caregivers can do to ensure their kids are as safe as possible in and on the water this summer.”
UW Health Kids gave the following safety recommendations:
- Watch your kids in and around the water, without distractions. Many drownings are silent, so having an eye on kids at all times is important.
- Have your kids take swimming lessons. Teach kids how to swim in both open water and a swimming pool.
- Have your kids wear a life jacket that is appropriate for their weight and water skill level. Seventy-seven percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
- Learn CPR and basic water rescue skills. Discuss as a family how to respond to an emergency on the water.
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