Do you have a pool in your back yard or a camp on the river? Are you planning on going to the beach this summer?

Here are some ways to protect your children around the water this summer:

  • Have your children take formal swimming lessons.
  • Require adult supervision when a child is near any body of water.
  • Parents, caregivers, and pool owners should learn CPR.
  • Add safety features—such as a fence with a self-closing gate—around your pool area. Four-sided fences that isolate the pool can reduce the risk of drowning by 83%.
  • Require that weak swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  • Follow all rules posted at public/private pools, waterways, and marinas.
  • When choosing an open body of water for children to swim in, select a site with lifeguards. Swimmers should know what to do in case of rip currents (swim parallel to the shore until out of the current, then swim back to the shore).
  • Check informational sources—such as the LA Department of Health & Hospitals’ Beach Monitoring Program—for any important environmental and safety news.
  • Avoid drinking the water and swimming with open wounds, and wash off after leaving the water when swimming in natural freshwater areas such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes.
  • When swimming in natural freshwater areas such as rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes, avoid drinking the water, swimming with open wounds, and wash off after leaving the water.

Formal swimming lessons are very important and can reduce the risk of drowning. Studies show that children between 1-4 years of age have the highest drowning rate. Drowning is responsible for more deaths among 1-4 year-olds than any other cause except birth defects. Even advanced swimming skills cannot drown-proof a child of any age. Close adult supervision is still necessary.

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