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Summer Safety Tips


Make a splash this swimming season:
Follow these five pool safety tips

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, drowning is the top cause of unintentional death in 18 states for children under the age of 5. However, drownings may be prevented by taking a few precautionary measures. Here are five tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC): Prevention is the key to summer fun

  1. Set up protective barriers. The CPSC recommends that all pools be enclosed with a barrier (such as a fence) at least 4 feet high. The gate door should swing shut and latch on its own.
  2. Pay attention. While barriers are effective, they are by no means a substitute for adult supervision. Turning your head for just a moment is long enough for a child to run toward the tempting water.
  3. Be prepared. Enroll your children in swimming lessons. In addition to teaching the basic strokes, many classes teach overall water safety.
  4. Exercise caution. Even good swimmers are susceptible to water hazards. Sudden exposure to cold water or an ill-timed cramp can be harmful.
  5. Monitor pool time. It's a good idea to schedule regular breaks from swimming. Children tire easily and may not get out of the water on their own. Before your child realizes he's exhausted, he may be in the middle of the deep end with nothing to hold on to for support.

Don't get caught off guard

No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen, so be prepared. Purchase and learn to use safety devices for your pool, such as a reaching pole and life preserver. Also, enroll yourself and other family members in a First Aid and CPR course, available through your local American Red Cross chapter. For more information on how you can protect your family this pool season, log on to the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov

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