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Having a Safe Summer: Pool Safety

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In light of the recent drownings and submersions within San Bernardino County, First 5 San Bernardino along with San Bernardino Drowning Prevention Network (SBDPN), and Safe Kids Inland Empire remind families about the importance of water safety during the summer months and all year long.

According to SafeKids, USA in 2009, 77 percent of child victims were missing for five minutes or less when they were found in the pool drowned or submerged. Parents can easily learn and remember the ABCs of water safety:

A: Active Adult Supervision

* Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment.

* Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult - preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR - should be within arm's length, providing "touch supervision."

B: Barriers

* Install a fence at least 4 feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through.

* Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can't reach.

* If the house serves as the fourth side of a fence surrounding a pool, install an alarm on the exit door to the yard and the pool.

C: Classes and Preparation

* Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction.

However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age.

* The decision to enroll a 1- to 4-year-old child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent and based on the child's developmental readiness, but swim programs should never be seen as "drown proofing" a child of any age.

Remember, drowning is 100% preventable. To learn more about staying safe around water, please visit www.first5safety.

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