Thanks to Owlet for sponsoring this post.
As a parent, keeping our kids safe is always top priority. We shared a cool gadget with you that can help you keep young babies safe at home not long ago. I wish there was as simple of a solution for all the safety issues that pop up when you have kids.
This month is Baby Safety Month and Owlet is hosting a fantastic series on safety that has some fantastic information every parent should read. Yesterday, Becky shared some great for baby safety gadget recommendations so be sure and check that out.
Today, we are talking about a topic that is so, so important: water and sun safety. When you mix water and sun with babies, you definitely have some challenges to deal with.
Water safety is something I’m passionate about. After nearly losing my toddler in a drowning accident a few years ago while she was being watched by half a dozen adults, I realized just how quickly accidents can happen.
Since then, I’ve heard stories of heartbreak and close calls from hundreds of moms — good moms who thought they were doing everything they needed to do to keep their kids safe.
What I’ve learned from that, is that we always need to be on our toes with kids and we can’t get too comfortable because that is when accidents happen.
Life Jackets are a must
We have always been committed to using life jackets whenever we are near water. The day of my daughter’s accident she spent 99% of the day wearing a life jacket. We gave in to her complaining about wearing the life jacket when we got out of the pool at the end of the day and were getting ready to leave. A few minutes later, we found her at the bottom of the hot tub, unconscious.
Now we know better and we don’t take those life jackets off of our non-swimmers until we are away from the water. The only exception we make is if we are working with a child one-on-one to practice swimming lessons, because everyone has to start somewhere.
Start Swim Lessons Early
Swimming lessons could save your child’s life so it is important to start lessons as early as possible. My now 4 year old still still sinks like a rock when in the water, despite two summers of swimming lessons, but we are making progress and we are more aware of her limitations now. This year we are committed to making sure she becomes a strong swimmer with back-to-back swimming lessons until she is confident.
Swimming lessons can help your child learn important water safety skills and could save her life. There’s even been some studies that show early swimming lessons can help a child developmentally so they are definitely worth prioritizing. Swimming lessons can get pricey. If you need ideas for paying for swimming lessons when they are out of your budget check out these ideas.
Be Aware of Water In and Around your Home
Since my daughter’s accident, I’ve been contacted by so many moms who have lost their kids in water accidents, not at a pool, but in bodies of water in or around the home. Be aware of outside water features, nearby streams or canals, and even the bathtub.
I have made a point to be extra careful around water with my kids so I was shocked when a few weeks ago I went into my bathroom to see that my jetted tub was filled with water. Apparently after bath time, the tub was never drained. I cringed when I thought of what could have happened if one of my twins had wandered in there. Now I make a point of waiting by the tub until the water has drained.
You Can Not Multi-Task Around Kids and Water
Our brain is a funny thing. We think we have the ability to multi-task but we are jut fooling ourself. We can really only focus on one thing at a time. We may switch back and forth between two things quickly, but we are still only focused on one thing. That’s an important thing to understand when you are watching kids in the water.
We can’t talk and watch our kids — especially non-swimmers. We can’t mess around on our phone and watch our kids. We can’t make sure the towels are all folded and watch our kids.
When we have kids near water, the only thing we can do is watch our kids.
Let’s Not Forget About Sun Safety
Sun safety is not often as life threatening as water safety issues can be, but it is definitely important to a child’s health (current and future). I’m a big fan of staying covered whenever you can. Use umbrellas and large hats as shade as often as you can. Have kids take breaks when they’ve been in the sun for long periods of time.
Sun screen is essential but it only works if we do it right. Apply sunscreen early (30 minutes before going out in the sun) and often (at least once every 2 hours). Be sure you don’t miss any spots. The places behind the knees and behind the ears are often forgotten about. If you have a child who has removed layers, like a sun shirt or pants worn on top of a bathing suit, be sure you cover those areas with sunscreen before they head out to play.
Sun and water safety are hugely important. If we are careful, kids can have a lot of fun. If we are not, tragedy can strike. Being aware of the danger is the most important tool we have available to us as parents and it is important that we remember just how alert we need to be.
Be sure and check out what Adrian has to say tomorrow. She’ll be sharing some great tips for babyproofing your home for tiny visitors when you don’t have babies in your home anymore.
Enter to Win
We have a fantastic giveaway with some amazing tools to help you keep your little one safe. The giveaway includes:
This giveaway is open to the U.S. Winner must be 18+. Please see our site’s Terms and Conditions for a complete list of our contest and giveaway rules.
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