MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The summer vacation countdown is on.
While the focus will be on fun in the sun, safety should be top of mind, too. For the next few weeks, we’re focusing on summer safety “4 Your Kids”.
If pool parties and beach days are on your summer agenda, it’s important to remember key precautions for your little ones.
“Unfortunately, Broward County leads Florida for the number of drowning death,” said Dr. Venu Devabhaktuni of the Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital at Broward Health.
He wants to change those statistics with some simple tips.
“You almost have to be paranoid when you have a young child. Not leaving them alone and usually total protection when you have a pool which includes the alarm system and the pool fence,” Dr. Devabhaktuni said. “There also has to be the 4-sided pool fence where the pool is completely isolated with four-foot height and the self-locking gate.”
He suggests if you don’t have a fence around your pool, be sure to store toys safely away from the water otherwise kids might be tempted to pick them up and get a little bit too close.
He encourages swimming lessons for children. Refresher courses are helpful around this time of the year for older kids who’ve previous taken swimming classes.
Dr. Devabhaktuni suggests having a designated “water watcher” at any parties or gatherings.
If your child needs a flotation device, your best bet is an actual life jacket, rather than water wings or puddle jumpers.
But remember, even flotation devices are not a substitute for total supervision.
Doctors also encourage parents or guardians to learn CPR, as even simple chest compressions started by a bystander can change the outcome for a drowning child.
Broward health offers free CPR classes through Water Smart Broward.