Family vacation water safety is key, but not many people know how to keep your children safe on your water-filled family vacation

When you’re thinking about days spent with your family lounging at the lake or playing by the pool, you probably remember laughter, new experiences and some good old fashion bonding – and this is the way it should be! To help you keep your family vacation cheery, it’s important to think a little bit (or a lot!) about water safety.

Drowning is actually the second leading cause of accidental death for people between 5 and 24. To keep a member of your family from being part of this sobering statistic, here are a few water safety tips to bear in mind:

Overestimate Danger
Young children can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. You need to be vigilant. Danger isn’t only in ponds, pools or lakes; kids can drown in toilet bowls and sinks. This means a day at the lake really requires extra caution – and education.

Underestimate Your Children
Usually we wouldn’t encourage you underestimate your children, but in this case, you need to. Don’t assume that just because your children are good swimmers that they are safe from danger. Even experienced swimmers can drown. Young or weak swimmers should have ‘touch supervision’ – meaning you’re in arms reach of your child at all times. Older, strong swimmers don’t need you to be at their side, but you should be able to clearly see them at all times.

Invest in Properly Fitted Life-Jackets
Water wings and inflatable life vests will not actually prevent drowning. If your child is not advanced enough to swim on their own, you need to ensure you invest in properly fitted, quality life jackets. The life jacket should be snug, and if your child is 5 years old or younger, you’ll need to make sure the vest has a snap that does up between the legs and head support to keep your child’s head up. Life jackets should always be worn on boats.

Keep the Juices Flowing!
Between heat and activity, your child could easily become dehydrated. Lack of fluids can cause your child to become dizzy, lightheaded and nauseous. This lack of mental acuity can easily cause a lapse of judgment in the most experienced swimmer, and the result could be deadly. Ensure your child is drinking enough. Water is always the best option.

Temperature Check
What’s a perfectly comfortable water temperature for one person could be unbearable for another. In general, 82°-86°F (28°-30°C) is a good temperature for children. Babies prefer the warmer end of this range. Just keep in mind that body temperature drops quickly in water, so if your child is shivering and/or experiencing muscle cramps, get him or her out of the water immediately.

A Family vacation is meant to be fun and exciting experiences to be treasured, so keep them safe!

Check out our family vacation ideas post for some tips on you family vacation.