“Splash safely this summer”
There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than by splashing around in the water. Whether it’s a day at the beach or an afternoon by the pool, swimming and water activities are a great way for families to exercise and have fun together.
Since we’re approaching the hottest days of summer, MCSO would like to share some tips for keeping young ones and others safe in and around water.
Safety in the pool
Whether it’s your own pool, a friend’s, or a pool at a hotel or community center — even with a lifeguard present — it’s important to supervise children at all times. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children ages 1-4 are at the greatest risk of drowning. To help keep kids safe, you should:
- Never leave a young child alone or under the supervision of another child in or around the water, even if the child being watched has had formal swimming lessons. Children should be supervised by a responsible adult who knows how to swim and deliver CPR.
- Stay within an arm’s reach of a young child or inexperienced swimmer. Children who can’t swim or are poor swimmers should always wear a properly fitted life jacket — air- or foam-filled toys are not safety devices.
- Give children your full attention when you are supervising them. Don’t fiddle with your phone, read or do anything to distract you from watching. Drowning can happen quickly and silently.
- Know how to swim yourself, and enroll your child in formal swimming lessons and water-safety training at a young age. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports swimming lessons in children as young as 1.
- Install a fence around the pool at your own home to prevent children from entering the pool area unattended. The fence should be at least 4 feet high with a locking gate that closes and latches by itself.
Keeping the pool germ free
Even though chlorine can protect against germs found in pools that can cause illness, such as E. coli and Cryptosporidium, it doesn’t work immediately. The health care team at [insert hospital’s name] would like to offer a few tips to help you keep the water free of infection-causing organisms:
- Take your child on bathroom breaks or check diapers often. Don’t rely on your child telling you when he or she has to go — at that point, it may be too late.
- Change diapers in a bathroom or designated diaper-changing area to prevent germs from spreading in and around the pool.
- Wash your child thoroughly with soap and water before going into the pool to assure that tiny amounts of fecal matter don’t end up in the water.
A summer vacation isn’t complete without sunshine and fun in the water. By making safety a priority, you and your family can enjoy the best of summer.
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Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov
Safe Kids USA – www.safekids.org
Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma
The Medical Center of Southeastern Oklahoma (MCSO) is a 148-bed Acute Care Hospital that continues to gain recognition for clinical excellence and efficient delivery of care. MCSO is staffed by over 100 physicians, covering a multitude of specialties and services. This hospital is partially owned by physicians.