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Water Safety Tips for kids
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By Jeremy Ulrich
May 25, 2014

It is that time of the year when the longer warmer days of summer are approaching when adults and kids are excited to be able to spend more time outdoors enjoying the warm summer weather. Pools, kiddy pools, landscaped water fountains are cleaned out, repaired, and filled. With these summer activities and things we enjoy having involving water, additional proper safety measures should be taken. Many young children like being around and in water, without proper safety measures water can be dangerous for young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the leading cause of death among children 1-4 years of age is drowning. In 2010 1,027 children aged 19 years and younger drowned, of those 1,027 46% of those children who drowned were ages 4 and under. About 75% of pool submersion deaths occur at a home. The majority of infant (less than 1 year old) drowning deaths happen in bathtubs or large buckets. Drowning can also happen in other standing water around the home like ice chests with melted ice, toilets, hot tubs, spas, and whirlpools, irrigation ditches, post holes, wells, fish ponds and fountains among others. Young children can drown in as little as 1.5 inches of water, this means that drowning can happen where and when you would least expect it .While drowning can take only a second, it is almost always silent. For this reason, adults should always closely watch young children when in or near water. Young children need constant supervision when near water, whether the water is in a bathtub, a wading pool, an ornamental fish pond, a swimming pool, a spa, the beach or a lake. It should be noted that one should not assume that a child who knows how to swim is not at risk for drowning. No matter what their swimming skill levels, it is important to supervise young children while they are in the water. Whenever a child is near water, invest in proper-fitting, coast guard-approved flotation devices (life vests) and use them. Check the recommendations for the weight and size on the label. Choose a vest with a strap between the legs and head support for children young than 5 years old- the collar will keep the child’s head up and face out of the water. Have the child try it on to ensure it fits snugly. Arm devices such as water wings and inflatable vests are not effective protection against drowning.


Top Safety Tips

• Make sure your home pool or spa has a proper drain cover or shut-off function to prevent long hair, loose clothing or body parts from getting trapped.

• Every child is different, so enroll your child in swimming lessons when you feel he or she is ready. Teach children how to tread water and float.

• Teach kids never to go near or in water without an adult present. Remember that things such as water wings, noodles and other items can create a false sense of security for children and should not be used in place of life jackets.

• Whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with a partner, every time. Do not allow children to swim alone.

• Install a door alarm, a window alarm or both to alert you if a child wanders into the pool area unsupervised.

• Depending on your child’s age and maturity level, stay alert at public pools. Don’t assume someone else is watching your child.

For information on how you can obtain CPR and/or First aid training: Contact Laura Gockley at 717-354-5181 ext 1

References:
cdc.org
safekids.org
http://www.safekids.org/sites/default/files/documents/Water-Safety.pdf

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