Two-Thirds Of Drowning Deaths Occur Between May And August

• Safe Kids Harnett County offers water safety tips.

As the weather heats up and more children and families head to pools and beaches, Safe Kids Harnett County wants to remind parents and caregivers to keep an eye on their kids and actively supervise children at all times when they’re in and around water.

For more water safety tips, visit: http://bit.ly/1dysdUS Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 19. On average, about a 1,000 children die each year due to unintentional drowning and more than 5,000 are seen in emergency rooms for injuries from neardrowning incidents.

A drowning child cannot cry or shout for help so simply being near your child doesn’t always help. Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a dip in the community or backyard pool, you can ensure that swimming is as safe as it is fun by following a few basic safety tips starting with keeping your eyes on your kids at all times.

Studies show that although 90 percent of parents say they supervise their children while swimming, many acknowledge that they engage in other distracting activities at the same time like talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child. Even a neardrowning incident can have lifelong consequences. Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after 4 to 6 minutes under water the damage is usually irreversible.

Safe Kids Harnett County recommends the following five tips to keep kids safe in and around water:

• Give kids your undivided attention. Actively supervise children in and around water, without distraction.

• Use the “Water Watcher” strategy. When there are several adults present and children are swimming, use the Water Watcher card strategy, which designates an adult as the Water Watcher for a certain amount of time (such as 15-minute periods) to prevent lapses in supervision and give parents a chance to read, make phone calls or take a bathroom break.

• Teach kids not to swim alone. Whether you’re swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake, teach children to swim with an adult. Older, more experienced swimmers should still swim with a partner every time. From the first time your kids swim, teach children to never go near or in water without an adult present.

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