Tips to keep children safe around water

Water safety guildelines

Following are some guidelines to help keep children safe around the water:

Enroll a child in swimming lessons taught by a certified instructor. Children should know how to tread water, float and get out of the pool.

Teach children to enter the water feet first.

Don't assume swimming lessons or life jackets make a child "drownproof." These precautions are important, but they cannot substitute for constant supervision.

Don't rely on water wings or other inflatable toys. If a child can't swim, stay within an arm's reach.

Actively and closely supervise children when they are around pools, the ocean, lakes or rivers. Never leave a child alone around water, even for a moment.

If you're in a group, take turns with other adults to keep a constant eye on the children. Keep a cellphone nearby in case of an emergency.

While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions like reading or the telephone.

Make sure kids swim only in areas designated for swimming. If an adolescent has completed swimming lessons, require they swim with a buddy.

Keep away from pool and hot tub drains, and tie up long hair securely to guard against drain entanglement in pools.

Never dive into water less than nine feet deep.

Learn infant and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Do not allow your child to swim during thunderstorms or lightning storms.

Do not let your child play rough in the water.

Do not mix alcohol with diving, swimming or boating.

Keep gates to the pool area latched. Look for lifesaving equipment by the pool.

Remove toys from the pool so children are not tempted to reach for them.

Empty blow-up pools and put them away after each use.

Keep electrical appliances away from the pool. Do not allow riding toys near the pool.

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