SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It’s summertime and that means families, especially kids, want to be around water whether that’s the pool, the lake, rivers or streams. But while it’s a lot of fun, it can be dangerous.
Dr. Laura Waters, a pediatrician at Mercy, shares some tips on how to stay face around and in the water while having fun.
She says after birth defects, DROWNING is the number one cause of death in children ages 1-4 years of age. And that every year, about 370 children and teens ages 10-19 drown, many happen on lakes and rivers.
Most drownings occur without adult supervision, Dr. Waters says. So, that’s why it’s important to designate an adult to be a “water watcher,” and she suggests no phone or other distractions while in this role.
Dr. Waters says children should always be in a life jacket around lakes and rivers, and parents should check to make sure Coast Guard approved.
Tips on how to make sure the life jackets fit properly:
- Sized by weight
- Make “touchdown” movement – if touches chin or ears, not right fit or straps not tight enough
- Teach children how to put on their own life jackets and make sure fit is good
Dr. Waters says water wings and other inflatables are not life preservers and even skilled swimmers can drown.
Another tip for parents is to learn CPR.
Check in next month, for another interview with Dr. Waters.