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Fun and Danger: Children & Water Safety

08/4/2011
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With the hottest days of summer upon us, pools and beaches are more crowded than ever.  However, it is important to make sure children are properly supervised while splashing, floating and swimming.

Sadly, each year more than 800 children drown in swimming pools.  The risk of drowning increases during the summer months when children are more likely to be near the water.

Drowning is completely preventable and Safekids.org has listed 5 truths about children who drown and what can be done to keep children safe around the water this summer.

Truth 1: Weak or No Supervision

Children can drown even if there is an adult present.  Adults sometimes become distracted by talking on the phone, talking to other adults, or reading.  Be sure to actively supervise your children around water and have an an undistracted adult on watch at all times while children are in the water. Always keep a phone nearby in case there is an emergency.

Truth 2: No Barrier

Children can fall into pools that are enclosed by a pool fence.  If you own a pool, make sure it has four-sided fencing and a self-closing, self-latching gate.  Hot tubs should also be locked when not in use.

Truth 3: Weak or No CPR Skills

CPR is critical in preventing death or brain damage after a child is rescued from the water.  It is important for parents and those working with children to get certified.

Truth 4: Weak or No Swimming Ability

Children from non-swimming households are at a much higher risk of drowning than children from swimming households.  Enroll your child in swim classes at as early an age as possible. Swimming classes are available for infants and teaching at this early an age is recommended. If you are a parent and unable to swim, take a parent-child learn-to-swim class.

Truth 5: Lack of Life Jacket Use

More than 700 people drown in boating accidents each year.  Of those who drown, nine out of ten are not wearing a life vest.  It is important to ensure that your child is wearing a life jacket at all times if you are boating.

Visit the Safe Kids website for more detailed information on pool and water safety.

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