Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review This: Personal Flotation Devices and Pool/Water Safety for Children

We all want our families to have fun and enjoy their summer time.  Let's Review how to keep our children safe around water!

Everyone likes to relax and enjoy the warmth and sunshine that comes our way during the summer months, but, it's not a good time to let down your guard.  Families will be planning trips to the beach, swimming pool, cottage or campgrounds to enjoy this wonderful season.  Let's take a look at how to make lasting memories that will be wonderful and happy with our families.  Because after all, good memories can only be made one at a time and last forever. So let's make those memories and be safe at the same time.
children playing in beach sand
Pixabay Image Link

Water, water, everywhere!  Summertime and water go hand in hand.

Children love to play in the water all year long, but when summer comes,  the idea of playing with water seems to become even more fascinating. After all it is summer, it's hot and water keeps you nice and cool.  The hours can fly by when the children are busy playing at the water edge or even deeper.  That is where and when the dangers of summertime come to the fore!  We all know that children forget their safety rules when they are so immersed in having fun.  Parent's must be diligent in keeping their little ones safe.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFD's) are essential Summer Safety Gear.

If you have young children, I would highly recommend that each one of them has their own Personal Flotation Device or PFD.  All that playing in and around the water requires that parents keep an extra special watch out for their youngsters.  Even if they know how to swim, it is a great idea to have some form of  PFD available for your kids.  Water, sun and fun can tire out even the best swimmers.  Better to be safe than to be sorry.  Rules for playing around water should also be enforced.  No exceptions to these rules.

Five Rules that Must Be Enforced

1.  Never go into the water alone.
2.  Always, wear your PFD when you are in or near the water's edge.
3.  Adults, make sure you are within arm's reach of young children.
4.  Get out of the water and  rest every now and then.
5.  Keep your eyes on your children when they are in the water or near the water's edge..

Even if they are wearing a PFD that does not mean you can take your eyes off of the children.  PFD's are just one way to keep them a little bit safer, but they are not Life Guards.  You are their life guards!

There are many types of Personal Flotation Devices and some are meant as toys, while others are meant to keep your children floating safely.  Make sure you have a device that will keep your children floating, face up(I have shown you Certified PFDs).  Inflatables are toys, that are meant to be  enjoyed in the water, but they are not meant to keep you from going face down in the water.  Only certified PFD's are meant to keep you face up and floating.  Beachballs, blown-up air rings and such are toys.  Sure they are fun and some even look really cute, but they are not PFD's.  Just look at what can happen when children are left alone!
Totally Unnecessary Trauma For This Child and His Parents!
Inflatable rings are not meant to be life savers.  Never Ever leave your child unsupervised just because they have an inflatable ring around them.  Please pass this on to all your friends and family, you never know, you just might save a life!

Who needs a Personal Flotation Device?

Without a doubt any child who is spending a lot of time in or near water, should have their own PFD.  Now when I'm talking about water, I mean a pool, lake or river.  Water coming out of a hose does not require that you to wear a PFD.  

Personal Flotation Devices are available for small children and adults as well. Depending on the types of water activities you are undertaking, having your own PFD is a great idea.  If you are just playing at the water's edge, only small children really need to be wearing a Life Vest of sorts.  Bigger kids or children who are adept at swimming will be fine in shallow waters, with adult supervision.  Supervision is the most important part of any water activity time.  Children forget the dangers, parents need to be extra cautious. We don't want to think what could happen if our children are left on their own.

My own grandson, will not go near the pool in his yard without his "floaty" as he calls it.  Rest assured that I don't want him near the pool  without it, either.  His sisters are a different story.  In the pool they are well advanced in their swimming capabilities.  Does that mean they can go into the pool alone?  Not a chance.  Even they know that an adult must be with them, or they don't go into the water.  Water safety means that there is an adult always present.  If this rule is ever broken, they know that the repercussions are severe.  It's one rule that is never, ever broken, it doesn't matter how hot it is outside. Pool safety for children is about educating them and making sure they know the rules.  Pool safety for children means making rules and sticking to them with no exceptions. You will enjoy your time much more if there isn't any chance of a child being hurt because you let down your guard.

Happy Summer to all, may you stay safe and enjoy your vacation  time!

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  1. Great reminder, Olivia! It's so good to know that your grandchildren understand the importance of having an adult with them any time they want to get in the pool. The selection of life jackets for kids is so cute!

    1. People need reminders, it's too easy when everyone is having fun, is relaxed and enjoying themselves to let your guard down. With children that is not an option and there are so many great ways to keep them safe. I agree with you that the selection for life jackets have come a long way. Little ones can be safe while wearing their favorite characters on their backs. Thank you Susan for your lovely comments.

  2. Excellent job on the five rules Olivia. Great selection of life jackets for the kids. All of our grandchildren take swimming lessons during the winter months. I think it is a big help when it comes to summer time fun around the water.

    1. Thank you Eugene, those five rules will keep families safe around the water and hopefully also safeguard them from heartaches. Summer should be fun for everyone and safety should never take a back seat.

  3. Excellent reminders as we greet summer days Olivia! Having grown up around swimming pools, I know just how important life jackets are for children. I also know how much they resist wearing them, but I do agree with you. Parents must be the adults, keep a vigilant eye and enforce the life saving rules around water of any kind.

    1. Thank you Cynthia for your comments. Today life vests are so much easier for the children to wear and play in. When mine were little they were big and cumbersome. With new materials that has changed for the better. Given the choice children would still prefer to be without the vests, but for the sake of the parents and their mental health, a vest is necessary. Parents are the ultimate life guards for their children.

  4. I have a pool at my apartment complex and right now my teenage grandson is visiting. Even though he is now 15 and knows how to swim, I won't let him go to the pool without me. I totally agree that all children need water supervision and even teenagers and adults should never swim alone. There are dangers inherent in any situation, especially around water.

    1. You are so right Pat! We have the same issue here. Our grandchildren are 4,7,9 and almost 16. I still won't let them go into the pool alone. God help us all if anything happened while they were on their own. The youngest one will not even go near the pool without his "certified" floatie on. I'm glad I don't have to fight with him to wear it. His parents have done a great job in insisting that this is NOT a negotiable choice. Water and floatie go hand in hand, no questions asked, ever! Thank you for your visit and your comments.

  5. I have a personal experience with this disaster floating device - when my now 17 year old was 3 he too flipped completely upside down in it and was stuck in that position - we were close by and flipped him up right away, but I was completely panicked about the floaty and stopped using it - I often think if our head had been turned or something, what would have happened - even if he wouldn't be hurt the panic and scare he had was enough to upset us

    1. I was speaking about the round tube device that goes around the belly (sorry I wasn't clear on that above) - the others we've used (as displayed above) were fine after that

    2. Barbara, kids are so quick to move that you just can't take your eyes off them even for a minute. Glad you were right there. Once you have had an experience like that, you never forget the feelings of panic and upset. PFD's that are rated for safety should still only be used with parental supervison. It is an aide for children, it is NOT a lifeguard. Inflatable toys are toys even when they go around the child's middle. The other part of this equation is during boating season. All children and adults alike should wear flotation devices. Lakes and rivers can be cold, fast moving and when you have been thrown into the water unexpectedly, the panic sometimes takes over. Better to be safe than to be sorry!

  6. Having had a toddler drowning in our extended family, I realize how quickly this kind of tragedy can happen. It is devastating. Thank you for reminding all of us that you can't be too careful when it comes to children and water.

    1. Oh my goodness, that is so sad and leaves everyone with a sense of "what could I have done?" Personal flotation devices are or should be mandatory especially for little ones. They are too quick for the parents to keep up with and will offer a little bit of time before a tragedy occurs. My condolences to your family.


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