Healthy Kids: Water safety reminders ahead of Memorial Day weekend
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Summer break is well underway for many southern Colorado students. And with more kids heading to the pool or lake, water safety is top of mind.
We are coming off the deadliest recorded year on Colorado waters, where Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) said our state broke a record for water deaths.
"Both open waters and pools are equally dangerous and that's because anything could happen at any given time," says Kitty Delamore, kids aquatics leader Lifetime Colorado Springs.
According to CPW, 2022 was the deadliest year in Colorado waters on record with 42 fatalities reported.
Delamore says parents need to always be looking out, even in a pool environment with lifeguards.
"For parents as many kids as you can actually watch, not turning your back too," said Delamore. "The times that drownings happen the most is when people are in water but they are not paying attention to their kids because they have so many little ones."
Lessons start at four months old at Lifetime Colorado Springs. Delamore says there's no right or wrong age for someone to feel ready to swim alone. It is crucial you know your ability and your kids' ability.
"I think it is about your swimming ability," says Delamore. "No matter your age you have to be able to swim and feel comfortable with swimming to not need somebody with you."
And for boat days, jet skis, paddle boarding, and any other water activity at the lakes this summer, don't just have those life jackets, wear them.
"Absolutely parents should be wearing life jackets," says Delamore. "Not only to model for kids but for their own safety."
When it comes to those life jackets make sure you try them on and they fit snugly. Kitty wants to remind parents that lifeguards are not babysitters so designate an adult in your group to supervise and take turns. And it doesn't hurt to get CPR trained in case of an emergency.