Safe swimming

Avoid drowning accidents by being prepared

Welcome to July in Chico—the weather is hot and the urge to take a dip in pools large and small, natural and man-made, is undeniable. Unfortunately, each year thousands of children are rushed to emergency rooms around the country after nearly drowning, according to a recent U.S. News and World Report article. And about 1,000 kids younger than 14 die each year in swimming accidents. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these guidelines to help keep you and your family safe while swimming:

• Never leave children unsupervised in or around a pool—particularly an inflatable pool.

• Keep your pool safe from neighbors and curious kids by surrounding it with a fence at least 4 feet high and locking the gate.

• Don’t rely on devices such as “floaties,” which don’t offer enough protection to keep a child from drowning.

• Teach your child how to swim yourself or hire a professional.

• Learn CPR.

• Check your pool drain covers to make sure they’re not broken or missing.

• Keep safety equipment such as a rescue hook and life preservers near the pool at all times.