Knowing water safety is a matter of life and death
Tragically, the leading cause of death among individuals with autism after wandering is drowning. According to Autism Speaks, a few preventative tips on how to keep children safe around water include the following:
- Exposing the child to water at a young age so that he or she can become comfortable around it and then teaching them the importance of water safety;
- Signing up the child for swimming lessons so that he or she can learn how to swim, as well as how to be safe around water;
- Emphasizing the dangers associated with water, such as a shallow pool or a river with a strong current;
- Using appropriate swim gear, such as a life jacket or floatation device, just to be on the safe side;
- Being a hands-on parent whenever the child is in the water;
- Taking precautions to prevent wandering, such as security measures and never leaving the child unaccompanied or out of sight near water;
- Spreading the word!
Water can be a lot of fun, but accidents can happen in a matter of seconds. Children with autism are more prone to drowning incidents because the reflection and movement of the water is so captivating. This is why the physical and safety benefits of water awareness are crucial for the autistic youth and water safety starts with the aforementioned preventative steps.