Keeping Safe While Swimming This Summer

An emergency medicine physician offers tips on how to keep your kids safe this swimming season.

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CLEVELAND – Many public pools and beaches are finally back open. While they can be a great way to cool off with your kids on a hot summer day, it’s important to keep safety in mind.

“The most common instance really of these drownings or near drownings happen in public pools or private pools where there are a large amount of people and that might come across as a surprise,” said Purva Grover, MD, emergency medicine physician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about ten people drown in the United States every day. Drowning is also considered the leading cause of death, aside from birth defects, for kids between the ages of one and four years old.

Dr. Grover said parents need to keep a close eye on their kids at all times. It doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer they might be or if they’re using a flotation device, an accident can happen anywhere.

She said if you are spending the day at the pool or beach, make sure they are taking frequent breaks from the water. They should also avoid swimming on an empty stomach.

Finally, if you don’t know how to do CPR, make sure you learn.

“You can truly save a life if you do good CPR at the site. There is multiple literature that has shown us that, especially when talking about drownings specifically, CPR given at the site can truly modify the overall outcome and prevent long-term disability and death as well,” she said.

Dr. Grover said if you own a pool, it should be properly fenced off so your kids cannot go out there unsupervised. She always tells parents if their child goes missing, check the pool first.

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