A message has been trending lately on social media about the danger of dressing your child in a blue swimsuit.

USA Today put swimsuits to the test and found that visibility diminishes for blue and green swimsuits much faster than bright, contrasting colors. Neon yellow, green, and orange swimsuits were the most visible beneath 18 inches of open water, all other colors disappeared quickly.

However, brightly colored swimwear alone can’t replace a lack of supervision. Drowning is the leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in the United States according to the CDC. As the warmer weather approaches, it’s a great time to brush up on your water safety knowledge!

Taken from the Illinois.gov page for Childhood Drowning Prevention Month, we should all follow these safety tips to help protect children and prevent water-related tragedy:

Portable or Inflatable pools

  • Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because of the shallowness of baby pools. A child can drown in as little as one inch of water.
  • Empty the pool right after use and store it upside-down.

Swimming pools and hot tubs

  • Keep ladders, patio furniture and toys away from above-ground pools. Toddlers are better climbers than you think!
  • Install a four-sided fence with a self-closing, self-latching gate around all pools and spas. Always check to make sure the gate is locked or closed when leaving the pool or spa!
  • Keep the pool and deck clear of floats, balls and toys after you leave the pool.
  • Young children should wear personal flotation devices, but they do not replace adult supervision.
  • Keep hot tubs securely covered when not in use. Children should not be left in a hot tub alone.
  • Appoint an adult who can swim to always watch children when they are in the pool.
  • Learn CPR and keep rescue equipment, a phone and emergency numbers by the pool.

Ponds, fountains and retention ponds

  • Be aware of access to water hazards in your yard and neighborhood. If a child goes missing, check these areas first!

Use resources like American Red Cross

  • You may also visit Redcross.org to access fun resources for kids to aid in teaching them water safety. In addition, Red Cross provides online CPR classes, a free online course for parents and caregivers, as well as a swim app to reference on the go! I invite you to take a few moments to also review the links on the Red Cross page including how families can prepare for emergencies, swimming safely in lakes, rivers, streams or at the beach, life jacket safety, and more.

Don’t forget the sunscreen

  • According to kidshealth.org, repeated sunburns can lead to skin cancer. Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous for kids who have moles or freckles, very fair skin and hair, or a family history of skin cancer.

Even if you don’t have children of your own, I believe it is everyone’s job to be vigilant and informed. Let’s all be safe and have fun this summer!

-Kelli Steder, CCAP Supervisor