Spring Break Water Safety for Children

Drowning is the leading cause of injury-related death among children ages 1 to 4, according to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Families seem to be spending time around water this time of year, so it is important to remind ourselves of the basics of water safety,” saidMichelle Fanucchi, Ph.D., chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public HealthDepartment of Environmental Health Sciences. “It is easy to become complacent when it comes to water safety. Being aware of the dangers of water and reminding our children of basic guidelines may help prevent an accident from occurring.”
As families head to the lake, pool and beaches, Fanucchi says never let children out of sight when around water. Designate a parent or responsible adult to serve as the lifeguard at all times.
“Most recreational swimming areas do not have a lifeguard on duty. It’s easy to think that someone else is watching, so selecting an adult to be the designated lifeguard ensures the children are being watched at all times,” Fanucchi said.
Children need adult supervision when in the water. Fanucchi recommends that parents stay close enough to their children to rescue them in case of an incident.
Teach children to swim. The UAB Rec Center offers swim lessons to children of all ages. According to Fanucchi, aquatic programs for infants and toddlers teach children how to enjoy the water and help to teach parents about water safety.
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