Hot summer days mean trips to the pool (be it your own, a friend’s, or a neighborhood spot). So it’s the perfect time to brush up on safety protocols to ensure everyone has an enjoyable summer. Lots of products on the market claim to foster “safe swimming,” but are they actually safe? Pediatrician and mom of three @niki.mamaMD weighed in on which products she avoids using with her kids.

@niky.mamamd

Drownings are 100% preventabld yet they are the NUMBER 1 leading cause of ☠️ in children ages 1-4. Take the simple and necessary steps to ensure it does not happen to your kids. #childsafety #poolsafety #watersafety #drowning #drowningprevention #pediatrician #toddlersafety #safetytips

♬ Sunny Day – Smoked

Products to avoid:

  1. Arm floaties: “These are made of vinyl, are filled with air, and go around the arms. It is so easy for a hole to form in these things and for them to pop when you are not even looking or for them to slip off the arms. They also keep kids in a vertical position, which is known as the ‘drowning position.’ It can give kids and parents a false sense of safety, which then turns into kids thinking they can jump into the pool without their floaties (thinking that they can swim).”
  2. Puddle jumpers: All the same reasons as the arm floaties. “They put your kids in the drowning position, they don’t teach your kids how to swim, and they give kids and parents a false sense of security.”
  3. Baby neck floaties: “This is an aerosol plastic tube, which is never 100% reliable. [It] goes around your baby’s neck. This is something that your baby can really slip out of. And just to follow a really simple rule of thumb, let’s avoid anything that goes around the neck for an infant or toddler. That includes amber teething necklaces and regular necklaces. It is way too easy for these things to cause strangulation.”
  4. Mermaid tails: “Please do not put anything on your child that confines their legs or arms. I don’t care how strong of a swimmer they are; all four legs must be loose so that they can swim safely.”
  5. Blue bathing suits: While these can be okay to use at splash pads or around the yard, the blue color makes it hard to spot your kid when they’re in a pool or other body of water. Instead, choose a brightly colored swimming suit so you can always keep an eye on your little ones.

The main tip that @niki.mamaMD wants you to remember is never to take your eyes off your kids in the pool. Often, drownings occur when there are plenty of people around, and everyone assumes someone is watching the kids. It’s also important to sign up your kids for swimming lessons at a young age and establish protective fencing and extra door locks if your home has a pool. Increasing awareness about water safety is the first step to decreasing the number of drownings.

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