Your kids love to cool down in a kiddie pool, waterpark, lake, ocean, bathtub…wherever they can find water! But before you set them free at the beach or neighborhood pool, teach your child the BUBBLES guidelines to make sure they are playing safely.

Buddy System. Always have a swimming buddy, and always know where your buddy is. If any parent asks you where your buddy is, you should be able to point him or her out immediately. You don’t always have to swim right next to each other, but do keep tabs on where your buddy is while you play.

Use sunscreen. Even when you can’t see the sun, its UV rays still bounce between the ground and the clouds. This means you could get a sunburn even when it’s cloudy! Put on waterproof sunscreen ten minutes before you go into the water, and then put some more on at least every hour. Ask Mom or Dad to get your back!

Be aware of what is happening around you, especially at the beach or lake or when you’re on a boat. Pay attention to what the people around you are doing, too. You don’t want to accidentally fall in, or be surprised by a riptide in the ocean. Many lakes and ponds are shallow by the shore, but have steep drop-offs.

Break often. Every fifteen minutes or so, take a break and check in with your mom and dad. Reapply sunscreen if you need to, have a drink of water, and spend a few minutes in the shade. Heat stress can occur quickly, and too much time in cold water can cause hypothermia.

Listen to the lifeguards. They are there to keep you and everyone else safe. When you’re getting ready to go down the slide, you can’t always see who’s splashing around at the bottom. The lifeguards know what they are doing, so if they tell you to do something, do it.

Entrapment is a real danger. Don’t play around drains or suction fittings, as you could become trapped underwater. If you see a drain that doesn’t have a drain cover, tell an adult.

Sip water. Splashing around in the water may make you feel cooler, but the sun can sap your hydration. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fresh, clean water so you can stay hydrated and enjoy your day at the pool, ocean, lake, or waterpark!

Parents, use the BUBBLES guidelines to teach your children basic water safety rules. Drowning is the fifth leading cause of unintentional injury death in the United States, and the leading cause of unintentional injury death among children between the ages of 1 and 4. Set a good example by wearing a life preserver when appropriate, and make sure that both you and your child know how to swim.

At FastMed Urgent Care, we love to splash around as much as the next person, but pool and water safety is too important to ignore. Teach your children about the potential dangers of swimming in pools, lakes, and open water, and be sure to supervise them at all times. Have a great summer!

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