In Texas, summer swimming and water play are not only some of the most cherished childhood memories, but one of the few ways to escape the brutal Texas heat outdoors. However, it is important that children of all ages are closely supervised to avoid tragedy. Teens and adults should be reminded to always swim with a buddy.
So far in 2015, thirteen Texas children have died as a result of drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for kids under the age of five, and toddlers are especially at risk. Drowning can happen in almost any amount of water, indoors or outdoors. You may never leave a child unsupervised around water, inside or outside of the house or at a public pool. It only takes a few minutes for a child to drown.
Children under one year old most often drown inside the house. Older children most often drown outdoors. Outdoors, children most often drown in pools, especially backyard and public pools. Most young children who drown in pools were out of sight less than five minutes and were in the care of one or more caregivers at the time. Indoors, the bathtub is the most dangerous location. Yet, children drown in all sorts of places, including creeks, ponds, canals, rivers, lakes, ponds, mop buckets, and toilets. Drowning deaths are 100% preventable when children are being appropriately supervised. That’s why we are reminding parents and caregivers to “watch kids around water”.
As a reminder, the Department of Family and Protective Services has established and maintained the Watch Kids Around Water campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to educate and motivate parents, foster parents, daycare workers, and all caregivers to be “lifeguards” for kids, both indoors and outdoors. You can find safety tips, drowning statistics, and a “Lifeguard 101” teaching tool at: WatchKidsAroundWater.org. Click the image above to visit their website.
Sun and Heat Safety Begins with the Dress Code
The teachers at Greenwood are laying plans for the warmer weather. Some activities will be forced indoors to avoid the discomfort of high temperatures. Teachers will monitor children closely for heat stress during the summer months. We want you to feel at ease about your child’s safety, so here is some valuable coaching about dress.
The Greenwood summer dress code is designed to keep children safe and comfortable even in temperatures well over 90 degrees. Children are required to wear a tank-top or camisole under their sun-shirt, and a sun hat on their head.
This arrangement allows perspiration to evaporate easily, taking heat away from the body. If the child is wearing a short-sleeved cotton shirt under the sun shirt, the underarm and back sweat will accumulate in the clothing and hold the heat to the child’s body. The result is rising body temperature. The undershirt must be sleeveless. It is imperative that children dress for this weather. If you have some objection to the dress code, please voice objection before summer. You may call me, email me or schedule a conference. We all need to be in alignment about what works best in the Texas heat. The sun shirt and hat combined with bug spray will also keep the mosquito bites and chigger bites to a minimum.
We have installed UV shade tarps over the snack area for additional protection. If we have an outdoor activity after 10:00 am, we will hold the class under the shade tarps, under the trees or in the pavilion.
Children’s pants are also important to protect against sun, mosquitos and chiggers. Children may wear capris-length, pants or other light-weight trousers. Khaki pants that go just to the boot top work nicely.
Water shirt and shorts
Children will need sun-safe, full coverage suits and water shoes to be left at school all summer. You may choose a one-piece long-sleeved water suit or a separate rash guard shirt and swim shorts. We do not want shoulders, tummies or thighs to be exposed. For toddlers, consider a “beach romper.”
To protect little feet during water play, we require enclosed water shoes with zippers or Velcro. Sandals and clogs including Crocks, Tevas and Keens are not allowed. We have found that open sandals simply do not protect the feet. Closed shoes help keep the ants off the child too. Water play involves mud, mulch and sand. We prefer that children be able to put on their own water shoes, but if that’s not possible, a teacher should be able to do so quickly & easily. If in doubt about the size, go larger. Please practice putting the shoes on at home. A nice fitting shoe will go on and off quickly and easy.
Remember, light colors make labeling easier. We will launder the suits after each use. Please label them clearly. Fabric pens and markers are available at the school upon request.
Helpful Links to Sun-Safe clothing