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To most parents, the warm, busy months of May through August are anything but lazy. As soon as kids hear the school bell ring, signaling the start of summer vacation, a flurry of outdoor activities begin and often water is involved. Whether families hit the beach, a local lake, or decide to keep cool at the pool this summer, CHOC Children’s encourages everyone to practice water safety. Drowning takes the lives of nearly 1,000 children ages 14 and under each year, ranking it as the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death to children in this age group. Drowning deaths for this age group increase 89 percent in the summer over the average annual monthly rate, with 64 percent of all children’s drowning deaths occurring in the summer months. CHOC Children’s provides the following tips to help ensure water activities remain safe for children this summer:
• Never leave children alone in or near water, even a shallow wading pool. Children can drown in as little as one inch of water and it can happen in a matter of seconds. A child will lose consciousness two minutes after submersion, with irreversible brain damage occurring within four to six minutes.
• Assign a “water watcher” who knows how to swim and can provide supervision of children in the water.
• Place pool safety barriers, such as isolation fences, self-closing and self-latching locks, and pool covers, between your child and the pool.
• Never assume your child is “drown-proof,” even if the child has had swimming lessons.
• Place a phone, life-saving ring and shepherds hook at poolside.
• Remove toys in and around the pool when it’s not in use to avoid any temptation for your child.
• Drain waters from wading pools and water buckets when not being used.
• Flotation devices, such as water wings, are considered toys and are not a substitute for adult supervision.
• Water safety also includes sun safety. Make sure your children are wearing waterproof sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Protect feet from hot sand and sharp objects by having them wear water-safe shoes.
To learn more about water safety or to have a staff member from CHOC Children's Community Education Department come to your group of parents and caregivers of children under the age of 5, please call 714-532-8887. This program is generously provided by the CA Kids Plate Program.
Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital for the highest quality of care, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children's) is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence - the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes.. CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence. Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Pediatric Critical Care Excellence.
Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
phone: (714) 509-8680