Summer Tips for Kids: Water Safety -- By Conner Keyeski, APRN

Now that we are officially in the summer season and temperatures are rising, more and more families are enjoying cooling off in the water. According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages one to fourteen. Whether you are enjoying the pool, the lake or a sprinkler, there are things to keep in mind to stay safe this summer.

The first thing to consider, especially with younger children, is enrolling your child in formal swimming lessons. Early swimming lessons can help kids get comfortable in the water and learn basic water safety.

Establishing family rules can also help prevent water injuries. Rules, for example, may include teaching children to not go in the water without an adult, that they must always be within view of an adult, and they should always use the buddy system.

Protection from the sun is another aspect of water safety to keep in mind. While getting vitamin D from the sun is beneficial for our health, getting too much sun can be harmful and increases the risk of skin cancer. Applying sunscreen and avoiding prolonged direct sun exposure, especially on high UV days, can reduce the chances of getting a sunburn and protect your family for the long term. Because choosing a sunscreen that does not have harmful chemicals is a daunting task, here is a link from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) that my wife and I reference when making sunscreen choices.

Hydration is important while enjoying water activities in the heat. Sweating while swimming is a way our body helps cool off, but we usually don’t even realize it is happening. Taking water breaks and drinking plenty of water can help prevent heat-related injuries like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Getting minerals with hydration helps retain more of the water we drink, and in a sense, makes our water wetter. Adding trace minerals to water, drinking coconut water and snacking on fruits are ways to get more of those minerals while enjoying the sunshine.

These are just a few reminders to think about when enjoying water and things I like to discuss with parents and patients in the summer months.


Conner Keyeski, APRN RN, is one of our practitioners focused on holistic health, and he's also the father of three. Visit with him or our other practitioners for your first (free) visit -- call us at 785/760-0695.