Protect Your Children With Some Safe Swimming Tips - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Protect Your Children With Some Safe Swimming Tips

Since children are have more free time and engage in more outdoor activities from May to August, tragedies peak.

According to the American Red Cross, an estimated 350 children younger than 5 drown in US swimming pools every year.

In addition, 2,000 children in this age group are treated in hospital emergency rooms for submersion injuries.

It's a known fact that most water tragedies are preventable.

While signing your kid up for swimming lessons is an excellent first step, parents and kids alike still need to learn the basic rules of water safety.

The American Academy of Pediatrics warns teaching your child how to swim DOES NOT mean your child is safe in water.

It also offers these tips:

  • Never leave your children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
  • You must put up a fence to separate your house from the pool. Most young children who drown in pools wander out of the house and fall into the pool. Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all 4 sides of the pool. This fence will completely separate the pool from the house and play area of the yard. Use gates that self-close and self-latch, with latches higher than your children's reach.
  • A power safety cover that meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) adds to the protection of your children but should not be used in place of the fence between your house and the pool. Even fencing around your pool and using a power safety cover will not prevent all drownings.
  • Keep rescue equipment (such as a shepherd's hook or life preserver) and a telephone by the pool.
  • Do not let your child use air-filled "swimming aids" because they are not a substitute for approved life vests and can be dangerous.
  • Anyone watching young children around a pool should learn CPR and be able to rescue a child if needed. Stay within an arm's length of your child.
  • Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren't tempted to reach for them.
  • After the children are done swimming, secure the pool so they can't get back into it.
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