How To Play It Safe
1. Never let toddlers out of sight, whether it’s at a pool, beach or during bath time. Drowning is silent. Children do not scream or call for help. They appear stunned and in shock and do not make a sound. When I worked on Victoria’s beaches, nobody I rescued ever screamed or called out.
2. Regularly check pool fences and self-closing gates all year round to ensure they are functional. Unfortunately there have been several drownings occur where there is in fact a fence present, however it’s not intact.
3. Make sure pool fences are clear of nearby furniture or anything a young child can climb to reach the pool. If you have toddlers, you know they are very creative at finding a way to climb over things.
4. Safety barriers are required for spas, in-ground, indoor and above-ground swimming pools. This includes in ponds and other portable pools that can hold more than 30cm of water.
6. Take precautions around your home – always empty bath water, place a cover or mesh over backyard ponds and make sure you empty buckets and anything that contains water.
7. Do not swim at isolated beaches! If you are swimming at an isolated beach do not go in the water past your knees at the most. To the untrained eye it is impossible to distinguish unsafe water from safe water.
8. Remember that in vests and flotation devices are not a substitute for adult supervision. Floaties, at the most, should be considered a weight relief from you holding your child. They will not hold your child’s head above water.
9. Dams are the most common location for toddler drowning’s on farms so restrict access to water with a fenced, child-safe play area. FarmSafe Australia has a range of resources and guides to help you create child-safe play areas.
10. Stay out of the sun when it is very hot. There is no replacement for shade in very hot weather. Enjoy outside activities in the mornings and afternoons and stay inside during the middle of the day, from roughly 11am to 3pm. No amount of sunscreen can protect your skin from damaging rays in the peak of a hot day. Also sunscreen does not protect from all UV rays. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are more likely if you are outside when it is very hot.
11. Have fun with your children. Summer holidays are a special time that families can be together for longer periods than usual. Enjoy each other’s company and enjoy doing the small things together.
Dr Stacy Budlender – Chiropractor