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Protect children from drowning

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POSTED: May 12, 2007 5:03 a.m.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning remains the second leading cause of injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14. Help keep your child safe this summer by following these precautions from the Medical College of Georgia Children’s Medical Center.
1. Insist on adult supervision. Drowning often occurs silently, so an adult who is able to swim should supervise children in the water. Supervision means adults should not be reading or doing another activity that could distract them. And while beer may seem like an important part of a fun day at the lake, it’s not a good idea to drink while boating, swimming or diving, particularly if you’re supervising children.
2. Enroll your child in swimming lessons. Knowing how to swim is the first step in being safe in the water.
3. Don’t rely on swimming aids. Swimming lessons and items like water wings are good tools, but do not guarantee that your child will not get into trouble in the water.
4. Protect your pool. Install at least a five-foot fence, a self-latching gate and pool alarms around your pool.
5. Be aware of risks. Children can drown in as little an inch of water, so empty and store kiddie pools upside down. At the beach, be aware of currents and watch for flags. When diving, make sure children know how and don’t dive in less than nine feet of water. And teach children never to run, push or jump on others around water.
6. Keep rescue equipment, a phone and emergency numbers close by.
7. Never swim alone. Make sure children understand that they need to have an adult with them anytime they want to use the pool or while they are at the beach, and teach them the buddy system.
8. Know CPR. Caregivers should know and practice life-saving methods.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure your children are safe at area pools and beaches this summer.
For more information, visit www.MCGHealth.org
 

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