Swimming pools are a great way to keep cool during the hot Sarasota summer, but they can be deadly.

Several weeks ago I read a story about a little boy from Orlando who had stumbled into his grandmother’s pool and nearly drowned. I remember playing poolside with my own boys and the excitement they shared while swimming. I always wanted to encourage my kids to explore, but I was also nervous because it is so easy for accidents to happen near the water.

Swimming pools can greatly contribute to a healthy childhood; they encourage physical activity, promote creative play and even inspire problem solving. But having raised three boys ourselves, we know that the benefits of endless splashing, jumping, paddling, and playing, come with big worries.

Pool safety should always come first.

In the few minutes it takes to answer the phone or run inside for a towel, poolside fun can become a family’s worst nightmare. In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of death in children 1- 4 years of age.

One way to keep your children safe in the swimming pool is to assign an adult to constantly watch the children. Accidents sometimes happen, but the National Safe Kids Campaign reports that 92 percent of children who survive water accidents were within the reach of a watchful adult.

A swimming pool barrier may stop accidental drownings when an adult is not present. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than half of all swimming pool drownings could have been avoided if proper fencing, covers or alarms were in place.

Enrolling your children in swimming lessons can help prevent tragedy; the American Academy of Pediatrics even suggests enrolling children as early as age one. Participation in formal swimming lessons can greatly reduce a child’s risk of drowning. However, just because children have had lessons, doesn’t mean they are water safe. At Weiss Pediatric Care, we want to remind parents to keep their eyes on their “water babies”….even though they may know how to float and swim!

If an accident does happen, parents who are CPR certified significantly increase a child’s chances for survival. If you’re curious about becoming certified in CPR or First Aid, contact us for information (contactus@weisscare.com).

Some of my fondest memories are of my three boys at the pool; we spent countless hours laughing and playing while escaping the summer heat. By paying close attention to water safety, your family can find relief from the hot summer months and build memories that will last a lifetime.

To learn more about the steps you can take to keep your children safe, visit WaterproofFl.com (https://www.waterprooffl.com)

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