water safety tips for kids with autism and other special needs

Water Safety Tips for Florida Kids With Special Needs

Water is a way of life in Florida, but drowning is the No. 1 cause of death among children under 5 in the Sunshine State. Children with special needs (particularly those with conditions like autism that make them prone to wandering) are at especially high risk. At FOCUS Therapy, we want to ensure all our patients and families stay safe this summer. It is imperative that parents and caregivers be proactive about water safety.

Learning to swim is one of the best prevention methods. If they are too young yet to learn, ISR swim lessons can be a literal life-saver. ISR stands for Infant Swimming Resource, and it’s a self-rescue program that teaches infants and young children how to survive if they fall into a pool or other body of water.

Taking precautionary measures to prevent wandering is also important. (Think locks, gates, alarms, etc.) Never allow your children to swim unsupervised – even for short stretches, and even if they have floaties. A child under 30 pounds can drown in just 30 seconds. It literally happens that fast, and it’s often very quiet. If you know you’re going to be distracted and around a body of water with your child, recruit others to help you keep an eye on the kid(s) – so that someone is always watching them near water.

If you have questions or need help with teaching your child with special needs about water safety, we can help.

FOCUS Therapy offers ABA therapy, ADOS testing, speech therapy, and occupational therapy to children in Lee County, Florida.

Additional Resources:

Swim and Water Safety, September 2018, Autism Speaks

More Blog Entries:

Break Those Bad Screen Time Habits With These Tips From FOCUS Therapy, March 17, 2023, Fort Myers Pediatric Therapy Clinic Blog

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