Arm floaties aren’t enough


By Stephan J. Smith, DC

Kids love the water, so when people think of swimming pools, the mental image often includes frolicking kids as well. Kids who grew up with a pool are often good swimmers, but many others don’t have that skill. Parents buy the “water wings” or “arm floaties” but unfortunately, many assume that this is a substitute for experience and ability in the pool. Many children drown in their own family swimming pools because no one was watching and the floaties slipped off.

Floaties and inner tubes aren't enough

Parents magazine had this to say: “The reality is grim: Water is a big danger for little kids. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 800 children drown — the number of students on 11 full school buses. Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 3, and the second-leading cause among kids under 15. Despite these alarming figures, only 34 percent of parents know that water is one of the top killers of kids, according to a survey by Safe Kids Worldwide, a child-safety advocacy group.”

There are several rules that you should consider when you have children in or near a pool.

  • Always stay within arm’s reach, children sink fast.
  • Select swimming areas carefully.
  • Use proper safety devices; arm floaties and inner tubes are NOT approved floatation devices.
  • Don’t rely on the lifeguard, nothing beats your watchful eye.
  • Be wary of plastic or inflatable pools, toddlers can drown in only a couple inches of water.

Children can drown in 1-2 minutes, the same amount of time it takes you to grab the phone or check the grill. Unlike the movies, children don’t usually scream and thrash when they slip beneath the water. It usually happens quickly, silently and they go to the bottom like a stone. In less than two minutes they can be unconscious and in less than five minutes,  not revivable.

The bottom line is, your children should not be left unattended. Even if they’re good swimmers, accidents happen when the horseplay begins. If the child is young, air floaties and rubber duckie inner tubes are no substitute for a watchful eye and a quick response.

Have fun, but be safe in the water!

Guest post by Dr. Stephan J. Smith. Dr. Smith is a wellness expert and Chiropractor in Brighton, Michigan. Along with Dr. Vladimir J. Brajak, he co-owns Advantage Family Chiropractic and is available to speak to your group, organization or company on several popular wellness topics. For more information or to schedule a talk local to Brighton, contact us at 810-288-5823.