Jumping into a cool pool or diving into the ocean is the ultimate summertime activity in Florida. However, our state leads the country when it comes to drowning deaths of children ages 1 to 4.
Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children in that age range. Annually in Florida, enough children to fill three to four preschool classrooms drown before their fifth birthday, according to Florida Health.
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Keeping your family safe is a top priority, and these water safety tips can help you out.
Never leave a child alone in or near water. This may seem like an obvious rule, but drowning is a silent catastrophe and it can happen in just a few minutes. Even if you're at a public pool or beach with a lifeguard, always take responsibility and designate an official water watcher.
Teach your children how to swim. It's not only fun, but also a life saver. Many places even offer free or discounted lessons.
Broken, loose or missing drain covers can lead to disaster. Teach your children to stay away from drains and suction outlets, especially in spas and shallow pools. Hair, limbs and bathing suits can all get stuck in the opening.
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Install proper barriers, covers and alarms around your spa and/or pool. They can save a life. A fence at least four feet high should surround the pool or spa on all sides. It shouldn't be climbable and should only be accessible through a self-closing, self-latching gate.
If the worst does happen be prepared and know how to preform CPR on children and adults. Bystanders are often the first to help a drowning victim.
For more safety tips you can visit several websites, including Water Smart Florida, Pool Safely and even the City of Tampa's website.