Many people associate accidents involving water with the summertime when everyone is enjoying pools, lakes, rivers and beaches. However, water accidents can occur anytime of the year. Many water injuries occur in the home or while playing in the snow. Here are a few tips on keeping your child safe during the cold winter months.
Protecting babies or toddlers from water hazards inside the home
Drownings can happen anytime and are often silent. Make sure your little one always has adult supervision. If you need to leave the bathroom while your child is taking a bath to answer the door or the phone, take your child with you and drain the bathtub. Some other safety tips around the house include installing toilet seat latches and turning over buckets/wading pools that are in the backyard so they don’t collect water.
Protecting your child near a pool
It might be too cold to go swimming in the pool, but drownings in a backyard pool can still happen. If your child spends time at a house with a pool, make sure that there is a four-foot-tall fence around all four sides of the pool to prevent little ones from wondering in the pool. There should be a self-latching and self-closing gate. Also, putting away those swim toys out of sight will help prevent your child from being drawn into the pool area.
Protecting your child while playing in the snow
We might not get much snow in the Central Valley, but if you’re heading up to the mountains to have some fun in the snow, be careful of potential water hazards. When sledding, make sure there aren’t any hidden rivers or creeks in your pathway. There are also some lakes and rivers that may freeze over. Stay off unfamiliar ice as the thickness of the ice may change, causing breaks in the ice. If someone does fall through the ice, make sure to call 911 for help.
Learning to Swim
Many people think about waiting until the summertime for swim lessons. However, now is the prefect time if there are lessons available. Again, drownings can happen anytime of the year! So, teaching your child how to swim will help prevent drownings.
About the Author
A resident of Clovis, Dr. Erin Hoyt is a second-year pediatric resident with Valley Children’s Pediatric Residency Program. Dr. Hoyt is excited to be back in the Central Valley, providing education to Valley families and giving back to the community in which she grew up.