South Florida’s warm weather means plenty of children enjoying the water. Unfortunately, experts say more children die from drowning in Florida than any other state. It is the leading cause of death among children between 1 and 4 years old. For every child that drowns, four more nearly drown, often with life altering injuries.

Before you, or your loved ones, hit the water this summer, make sure you know about water safety. 

  • Never leave children unsupervised near any body of water – not even for a moment 
  • Install a pool fence and alarms on every door leading to water 
  • Do not rely on flotation devices to protect your children in the pool 
  • Teach your children water safety skills 
  • Learn CPR 
  • Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard. 
  • Read and obey all rules and posted signs. 
  • Children or inexperienced swimmers should take precautions, such as wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) when around the water. 
  • Watch out for the dangerous “too’s,” too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity. 
  • Be knowledgeable of the water environment you are in and its potential hazards, such as deep and shallow areas, currents, depth changes, obstructions and where the entry and exit points are located. The more informed you are, the more aware you will be of hazards and safe practices. 
  • Pay attention to local weather conditions and forecasts. Stop swimming at the first indication of bad weather. 
  • Use a feet-first entry when entering the water. 
  • Enter headfirst only when the area is clearly marked for diving and has no obstructions. 
  • Do not mix alcohol with swimming, diving or boating. Alcohol impairs your judgment, balance, and coordination, affects your swimming and diving skills, and reduces your body’s ability to stay warm. 

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