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15 Tips to Prevent Drowning This Summer

July 06, 2019

Summer is here! Time to go to the pool, lake, and ocean. Rebecca Brockman recently talked with Hope Mullins, assistant director of the ACH Injury Prevention Center, about ways to keep your child safe when swimming, boating or just splashing around. The full (short!) interview is below. 

Home Pools:

  • Install a four-sided fence with a self-locking gate.
  • If your house is one side of the “fence,” install high door locks and door alarms.
  • Don’t leave toys in the pool area.
  • Younger children – never swim alone
  • Older children – always ask permission

Swim Lessons

  • Recommended after age 1, but no age is too old.
  • Safety Before Skill – In central Arkansas, you can get a prescription for free swim lessons from a pediatrician at the ACH General Pediatric Clinic or stop by the Safety Zone at the Family Resource Center at ACH.

Supervision

  • Under the age of 5, make sure parent or adult is within “touch reach.”
  • With older children, always have a “water watcher” – someone whose sole job it is to watch the kids in the water. The water watcher doesn’t nap, read, socialize or drink.
  • Know what drowning looks like. It's often silent. Watch for children who are gulping for air and/or making “climbing a ladder” motions.

Flotation Devices

  • Water wings are not approved as flotation devices.
  • Use U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets and vests.
  • Check for fit: if you can lift the jacket above your child’s ears, it’s too big.
  • Arkansas State Law: children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket on all watercraft.
  • Practice what you preach: adults should always wear life jackets, as well.

Be sure to watch Hope’s tips for what to do if someone is drowning, starting at 10:10 on the video. For more summer safety tips, subscribe to our blog here.

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