SSM Health: Parents should be on guard with water safety this summer

MADISON, Wis. —  Engrained in our minds. For most of us, we know that our kids need at least 60 minutes of daily activity that gets their heart beat, and their breathing, a little harder.

This is often outdoors, but in the heat of the summer, your family may opt for the pool or lake. We’re talking water safety and, SSM Health Pediatrician Heather Reichert says listen up parents. You should be intentionally on guard.

“For kids less than five this is going to be within an arm’s reach of your child at all times,” says Reichert, “ and if you’re greater than five you’re going to want a designated parent who’s just watching the children even if there’s a lifeguard on duty. This parent should be free from distractions including cell phones or talking to other adults.”

Dr. Reichert goes on to say that swimming lessons as early as possible, even as young as one, significantly reduces the risk of drowning. She also says some other ways to get your kids out and about is for you as the parent to get involved. Whether it’s a family walk, family bike ride, or simply playing together, kids who see you being more active, are usually more active as well.

Our time for kids: recipe for health team is asking what you want to hear about. Let us know what health topics you’re interested in, or share your family’s health story with us, online at ssmhealth.com/timeforkids.