We are surrounded by bodies of water on the South Shore. The ocean is a quick drive from most towns, and ponds and lakes abound.

Sadly, swimming, a wonderful recreational activity and great way to beat the summer heat, can also be deadly.

Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death of children 1-4 years old. Children can drown in as little as 2” of water, so always keep them at arm’s reach.

Minutes after finishing this article, this video appeared on Boston Globe online. It is a must-watch for anyone with young children. It totally emphasizes that you cannot be too vigilant about the safety of your little ones! 

Click here for some practical, easy-to-follow tips so your children can enjoy the water safely.

Here are tips from the American Red Cross to help keep your children safe.

These swimming rules apply to all ages:

  • Never swim alone; always swim with a buddy.
  • Swim only in areas that have a lifeguard. Though remember that the lifeguard has only one pair of eyes to monitor countless swimmers. Parents should always keep their eyes on their own children.
  • Stay out of the water when you are very tired, very cold, or overheated.
  • Follow all swimming rules posted at the swimming area.
  • Obey the lifeguard’s instruction.
  • Do not swim under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Do not swim during a thunderstorm.
  • Don’t dive headfirst into shallow or murky water.
  • Don’t engage in horseplay; it can result in injury which could lead to drowning.
  • Inflatable rafts, tubes etc. are not safety equipment. They can become deflated or carry you out to sea.
  • If you have a pool, cover it when not in use, and don’t leave toys around that may entice a child to the area.
  • Always were a Coast-Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD) when in a boat. Accidents happen in a split second; not enough time to put a PFD on if something goes wrong.