Splish, Splash! Water Safety for Little Ones
Whether you're visiting your community pool, taking a trip to the beach or just hanging out in the kiddie pool in your own backyard, it's important to keep your baby safe in and around the water. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that pool time is safe and fun for your little one:
- Rule number one, which almost goes without saying: Be alert and watching at all times - skip the beach reads or texting while you're poolside. If you're in the water with your child, be sure to hold her snugly with her head well above water; if she's big enough to sit up on her own (and your kiddie pool is small enough to allow this), stay within arm's reach at all times.
- Make sure your kiddo has the right gear, namely a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest or personal flotation device - especially if you're going to the "big" pool, a lake or an ocean.
- Look out for bugs. Not creepy-crawlers, but the kind you can't see: Fresh water, salt water and even chlorinated water all have levels of bacteria that can be harmful to young babies. Keep them out of the water entirely until after two months; after that, keep their heads above water, try to keep their faces from getting splashed too much and make sure they don't swallow any of it!
- Keep her warm enough. Babies' little bodies can lose heat fairly rapidly, so if it's a chilly day or the water's too cold, it's best to stay dry for the day. The ideal water temperature for babies a year and younger? Anywhere between 86 and 90 degrees.
- Keep the pool off-limits when you're not there. If you have a pool in your yard, make sure it's properly fenced off and locked up, and keep kiddie pools empty when they're not being used.