Is Your Family Ready for Fun in the Water this Summer?
Water safety is a concern for all parents. This is especially true for the families of children with disabilities. While it poses some unique problems, it also carries some unique benefits.
Following the spoken and unspoken social rules at the pool can be a challenging task. Watch the video below with your child before you get into the pool this summer to help prepare them for the rules of the pool. If your child responds well to it, consider making your own that is more specific to you own child’s needs. For more information and resources visit www.adaptedswim.com.
On average two children per day under the age of 14 die from accidental drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of death for children with autism (and any child prone to wandering). Close and constant supervision, pool barriers, life jackets, and separating alcohol consumption from water activities are all important safety precautions. Sometimes these precautions are not enough if you have a child prone to wandering.
The problem with personal flotation devices is complacency
Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) are critical life saving devices and absolute requirements for boating or any time that family members are around large bodies of water. PFDs are wonderful devices and have saved many lives. The problems begin when adults and children develop a dependency on these devices and they become the only defense against a potential catastrophe. Panic is the typical outcome when children dependent on PFDs do have an aquatic accident and are not wearing their device. Panicking is the worst thing someone can do when falling into the water. A stiff and stressed body will sink, while a relaxed body will float. Flotation devices can give children a false sense of confidence leading your child to think they can swim by themselves without fully understanding their dependency on the flotation device. This is why learning to swim independently is critical to child water safety.
Single Point of Failure
Think of all the high-tech safety devices in the modern automobile and yet every time we load up the kids, we double-down on safety making sure they are properly restrained in even more safety devices. The key to better safety is to always have a backup plan; never rely on a single point of failure. There is no such thing as too much safety for our children. This goes for all family members: brother; sister; mom; dad and even grandma and grandpa. They need to be ever vigilant, trained and capable when it comes to the safety of children.The good news is that you can double-down on water safety for your children even if they have special needs.
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