Experts stress rules to ensure water safety for kids

OLD SAYBROOK --  Police said water may seem very inviting especially on a hot summer day, but it can also be dangerous.

That is especially true for young children, which is why Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera insists following simple rules that can ensure safety.

The first rule is to always supervise children in pools or any body of water.

“So, our first tip is just to make sure you’re watching the kids, Spera said. “Don’t take your eyes off of them. Don’t be checking your social media posts. Really focus on your children and their safety.”

It has been nearly three decades since Stew and Kim Leonard founded Stew Leonard III Children's Charities in memory of their toddler who died in a drowning accident in 1989.

Mr. and Mrs. Leonard are now experts in water safety and education. They said cell phones are huge distractions at pools.

“You’re texting, and you think you’re watching your child in the water but it’s a danger,” Stew Leonard said.

The second rule is to always make sure kids are wearing flotation devices.

“So, make sure you’re not buying some knocked off items,” Spera said. “We are talking about your children safety so spend the extra money. Make sure it’s in approved flotation device.”

The third rule is to keep children away from deep, dark bodies of water.

“Any water that’s deep dark and dangerous kids should not be near that water without an adult,” said Spera.

The fourth rule is to talk about water safety. Experts said one of the best ways to ensure your child’s safety in the water is by having a simple conversation about pool safety with them before they get in the water.

Finally, if you can, teach your child to swim, or provide them with swimming lessons.

In Connecticut there are options to get them for free.

“We have now just in the state of Connecticut donated to the YMCA and swimming programs over a million dollars in free swim lessons and help provided for a lot of underprivileged kids to learn how to swim.”

Research shows drowning is the leading cause of accidental deaths for children ages 1-4. Most happen in residential pools.

For those looking for swim lesson, click here.