Katie Gorodetsky, WIC's Immunization Coordinator
Summer is in full swing and that means pool parties and beach days! Nothing beats cooling off on a hot day by the pool or enjoying vacation time at the beach, but make sure safety comes first. Did you know that drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children? Ensure that your kids play and swim safely this summer by following these tips:
- When you are watching children, don’t be distracted by phone calls, text messages, reading, or talking to others.
- Children who can’t swim well or can’t swim at all should be within your reach and wear life jackets.
- Learn adult and infant CPR. Click on this link to find CPR trainings in your community: http://www.cprtrainingdirectory.com/CPR_Training_Massachusetts.html
- Learn how to swim – both children and adults should know how to swim. Click on the following link to find swimming lessons in your community: http://www.redcrosscwm.org
- Know how and when to respond in an emergency.
- Have reaching or throwing equipment on hand.
- Keep a stocked first aid kit and know how to use it.
Children should be watched whenever they are in or near water. Inflatable flotation devices like floaties should not be substituted for life jackets because they are just swimming aids and can create a false sense of security. Life jackets should not be used in replacement of adult supervision. Learn how to correctly choose and use life jackets here: http://www.redcross.org/portal/site/en/menuitem.53fabf6cc033f17a2b1ecfbf43181aa0/?vgnextoid=a6c9f837443d0210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD&currPage=9dadf837443d0210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD
Drowning in real life is very different than how it is portrayed on TV. Drowning is swift and silent. A child will lose consciousness almost immediately. If a child is missing, check the water first. Home swimming pools are the most common place for a child younger than age 5 to drown, so remember to always watch children in or near water, especially those who can not swim. If you have a pool, make sure there is a 4-foot fence around it, and teach children to never swim alone. Also, know how to respond to a water emergency.
To learn more about water safety, visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/wellness/injury-prevention/water-safety.html.