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How to Prevent Drowning on your Watch

Did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of death of kids under the age of 14?

What can you do to protect your children from drowning?

1. Start early-Swimming is a life skill that we ALL should learn. Not only does it teach us how to swim, but also the importance of supervision and the dangers of pools

2. Take a CPR class

3. NEVER leave children unattended around any body of water-Be sure not to rely on floaties or other devices to keep your kids safe. Have a designated adult watch the children and switch off throughout the gathering. Safe Kids Worldwide has a printable Water Watcher Card making it easy to identify who the "watcher" is at any point in time. This watcher should give swim-goers his/her undivided attention. For young kids and those that cannot swim well, the watcher should be in the water with them

4. Safeguard your backyard

5. Get an alarm- Install an alarm on the door leading out to the pool to notify you and all others in the family when the door has been opened

6. Use a pool cover-It should fit around the entire pool and there should be no gaps where small children could slide underneath

7. Keep toys out of the pool area- We do not want to tempt children to climb into the pool to retrieve their toys

8. Have emergency equipment on hand

9. Life jackets and puddle jumpers- This topic could be a blog post in itself. Life jackets and life preservers should be worn at all times when boating, sailing, or on any watercraft. They should also be worn when around natural bodies of water (i.e., oceans, lakes, and rivers). Young children and those who cannot swim well should wear a properly fitted life jacket in and around pools. Floaties or other air-filled devices should NOT be a substitute for a life jacket. **Super important note that deserves asterisks and bold print to get your attention: kids can become reliant on puddle jumpers and these various personal floatation devices. They can provide a false sense of security. I never want the puddle jumper to take the place of knowing the dangers of water, as well as the life skill of learning how to swim. There can be dangerous and serious consequences when your child innocently enters the pool without supervision to fetch a toy, thinking he or she can swim independently because they have successfully done so while wearing their puddle jumper. This brings me back to #1- start swim lessons and education early!**

10. Secure or remove all other water hazards- Did you know that young children can drown in less than 2 inches of water?

Infants, toddlers, and weak swimmers do not splash, thrash, scream, or shout when drowning. Drowning is silent.

Please take a moment to read, re-read, and share the above information.

Stay safe!

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