| Summer is just about here! According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional death in children and adolescents. As the National Water Safety month reaches its end, it would be an excellent idea to review water safety tips for youngsters provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Never let your child swim in any body of water without an adult watching.
- Be sure the adult watching your child knows how to swim, get emergency help, and perform CPR.
- Keep a life preserver and shepherd's hook in the pool area to help pull a child to the edge of the pool when necessary.
- Teach your child safety rules and make sure they are obeyed.
- Never swim alone.
- Never dive into water except when permitted by an adult who knows the depth of the water and who has checked for underwater objects.
- Always use a life jacket when on a boat, fishing, or playing in a river or stream.
- Inflatable rafts, swim "floaties," and other inflatable devices are not appropriate life-saving devices. One should keep in mind that they are only swimming aids. Make sure young children and non-swimmers wear Coast Guard-approved life jackets and ensure the life jacket is fastened properly.
- Don't let young children and children who cannot swim use inflatable toys or mattresses in deep water unless accompanied by an adult.
- Watch children closely when they are playing near standing water, wells, open post holes, or irrigation or drainage ditches.
- Teach your child to swim once he or she is ready. (The AAP is also reinforcing its existing recommendation that most children age 4 and older should learn to swim, and is now more open towards classes for younger children.)
- Stay hydrated and be sure to take regular breaks out of the water to stay alert and avoid fatigue. This is especially important if it is hot or humid.