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Three Things Parents Can Do to Increase Pool Safety

Chip Skambis

The Dell Children’s Medical Center dealt with five drowning incidents last weekend, including one confirmed fatality. Doctors say the incidents serve as a powerful reminder of the need for water safety, especially for children.

“Having been in the ER now for almost 32 years, watching the parents and feeling and sharing their pain, I can say these events are just tragic—and, for the most part, preventable,” Dell Children’s chief of emergency medicine Dr. Pat Crocker says.

Crocker noted three steps parents could take to prevent drowning incidents. One is simply keeping an eye on their kids in the pool, because most children don’t have a chance to make any noise before going under.

“Children who drown who are five and under usually just slip under the water,” he says. “It’s a silent event—and they’re found on the bottom of the pool.”

Secondly, Crocker recommends that kids wear floatation devices at all times in water. And lastly, children should receive swimming lessons as soon as possible. “Children who are only a year old can learn to float to the surface, get to the edge of the pool and save their own life,” said Dr. Crocker.

Nationally, around 10 people die from unintentional drowning each day – and of those 10, two are children aged 14 or younger. 

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