Drowning is the most common cause of death for children in Thailand. Learn about water safety to prevent a child from any accidents around water.
Essential precautions near water
- Babies and children under 3 years old should always be within arm’s reach of an adult when they are in or around water. Children age 3-6 year should always be in eyesight of an adult.
- Also, older children should be supervised by an adult when they are in or around water and should never be left alone even for a moment.
- Empty buckets or bathtubs as soon as you are done with them. Do not keep a container filled with water around your home.
- Keep children away from pools, ponds and streams at any time of year, unless you are with them. Be extra cautious with fast currents that occur during the rainy season. and after heavy downpours. Gate or fences should be installed to the area.
- The Lifesaving Society recommends a supervision ratio of at least 1 adult for every 2 young children, and 1 adult for every baby.
Should we use a life jacket or flotation devices?
You can use a life jacket or other floating device for your child, as long as it is designed for children and you don’t leave them alone. The difference is:
- Life jackets are safe as they support a child’s face to stay outside water at all times.
- Floating toys like water wings, inflatable wings and other swim toys ARE NOT safety devices and children can drown inside them. Children using them should always be supervised by an adult.
- Whatever you use, make sure it is the right size for your child’s weight and keep all safety straps fastened.
Support your child around water
Children can learn to enjoy the water from an early age and they can learn essential aquatic skills to keep them safe. At their early age, look for swimming programs that focus on building water confidence and that teach parents about water safety. Ideally, children start swimming lessons at age 3 and should be able to swim at age 6.
Teach your children water safety
It is important that children are taught about the risks and dangers associated with water. Teach your children these important swimming pool rules and follow them at all times:
- No swimming without an adult
- No running or pushing
- Water safety for children - Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand (http://www.searo.who.int/entity/disabilities_injury_rehabilitation/country_experiences/situationofchilddrowning2014tha.pdf)
- Water safety for children - Water Safety New Zealand (https://watersafety.org.nz/Community-Resources/Eight%20ways%20to%20keep%20babies%20and%20toddlers%20water%20safe)
- Water safety for children - Canada Paediatricians (https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/water_safety)