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Water safety has to be a top priority this summer

The summer months are all about spending time outdoors. For many people, pools and water activities are on the schedule.

Anyone who is going to spend time near the water needs to ensure that they remember that drownings and near drownings can occur, even during a fun day when everything seems relaxed.

Unfortunately, many children die each year from drownings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that drownings are the second most common cause of injury-related deaths in children who are younger than 15 years old. It is imperative that anyone who is going to spend time near the water when there are children around remains vigilant.

Location of incident

Drownings and near-drownings can occur in any location where there is water. This includes lakes, rivers, creeks, homes, beaches and places with water-related decorative items. Even a shallow fountain can be the location of an incident if a child ventures into it. Because the risks are so great, parents should closely monitor children who are around water.

If there are water attractions, such as swimming pools or hot tubs, there should be a fence around it that is at least four feet tall and closed with a locking gate. This can help to keep young children out when there are no adults around to watch them.

Keeping children safe

When children are near water, the adults can't let anything else distract them from watching the kids. Even if the children aren't playing in the water, a small child might venture away from the adults and end up in water. This is why adults need to pay close attention to children who are near these types of attractions.

If a child is in the water, there should be an adult within an arm's reach. Using floating devices to help children remain safe is a good idea, but it can't replace adult supervision.

Children who can't swim or who are very young should have on a life vest if they are visiting a water park or a big body of water. If the child is going into the wave pool, they should have on a life vest if they are under 48 inches tall, according to the Wave Pool Safety Act.

Learning CPR is advisable for adults who will supervise children near water. If there is a near-drowning, the child should be taken for immediate medical care. There is a chance for "dry drowning," which means that the child should be closely monitored for at least 24 hours after a near-drowning. If the incident was due to negligence on the part of the property owner, the parents of the child may want to take legal action.

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