5. Keep Focused
It is your job to keep focussed on what they are doing at all times.
Little people go through developmental stages and it's your job to keep focused on their ever changing challenges.
Children get up to mischief so quickly that it is easy to become distracted and miss a potential hazard that might be there in your home or outside that could lead to drowning.
Each age group have their own individual challenge and while it is hard to have ‘eyes in the back of your head’, you can take steps to manage your environment to reduce drowning hazards.
Here are some helpful hints to help your children be safe:
In the home:
Babies are drowning in home baths and around the home. To combat this, hand to skin contact with the baby is critical in every situation where water poses a threat. This means being within reach at all times.
When it's bath time, bring everything you need into the bathroom before you start and ignore any distractions like visitors or phones. A moments inattention can be disastrous.
Use a bathmat supplied by Plunket and Water Safety New Zealand.
Remember to empty the bath immediately.
Around the home:
- When using a bucket or tub immediately empty it.
- If you need to soak something do it out of reach of the child and make sure it has a tight-fitting lid.
- Turn anything that can collect rainwater over and empty the paddling pool or water play vessel immediately.
Outside the home:
- Toddlers present a new challenge to parents because they are mobile and into everything.
- First thing to remember is to remove all water hazards from around the home.
- Comply with the building act if you have a pool or spa.
- Identify and eliminate all water hazards around the home including emptying vessels such as buckets when you have finished with them.
In the community:
- Ensure you assess the water hazards that present when you go into a new environment. Pre-schoolers to five-year olds are outside the home more frequently as they are more mobile. They become more vulnerable to water hazards including rivers, lakes, ponds and fountains, and they can even be at risk visiting other people’s homes so it pays to survey the environment for any water hazards and take steps to minimise harm.