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Keeping Your Family Safe in the Water

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Swimming is a family activity. Follow these tips to keep your family safe in the water.
Air Date: 6/13/17
Duration: 10:18
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Sarah Denny, MD
Dr. Sarah DennySarah Denny, MD, FAAP, works as an attending physician in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and as an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University School of Medicine.

She is Co-Chair of the Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention for the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. At the national level, she serves on the Executive Committee for the Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Denny is Co-Director for Resident Advocacy Education at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and enjoys teaching pediatric residents how pediatricians can effectively advocate for the needs of their patients. Dr. Denny sits on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is the co-chair of the advocacy committee. Her specific areas of interest include bike helmet awareness, injury prevention, safe sleep and legislative advocacy.
Keeping Your Family Safe in the Water
Children can drown in only a few inches of water, even if they’ve had swimming instruction. Summer’s trips to the lake and swimming pool demand water safety.

First, drowning is not a loud, dramatic event. The mouth slips below the water first, making shouts difficult. Drowning typically looks like quietly slipping under the water. It’s subtle. Pay close attention to your flock in the water.

Second, enroll your child in swim lessons when she is developmentally ready. There is no evidence to support infant swim classes prevent drowning. Be sure you are comfortable in the water so you can help any child in trouble.

Third, you must exercise constant supervision when your child is around water. This includes bathtubs and kiddie pools along with larger bodies of water. Designate a water watcher to engage only in watching the kids in the pool. No cell phones or alcohol for the water watcher. Little ones must be within arm’s reach in the water. 

Finally, mind these additional tips for water safety:

  • Lifeguard presence does not excuse you from watching your children in the water. 
  • Water wings are not a substitute for a life jacket. Use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
  • Always swim with a buddy, no matter what level of swimming ability.
  • Don’t dive where the depth is unknown. Inspect for hazards before diving.
  • If you own a pool, you should have some basic first aid and CPR knowledge.
  • There is no replacement for adult supervision.
Listen as Dr. Sarah Denny joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share how to exercise water safety this summer.

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