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Summer is swimming season in Indiana and it’s one of the most enjoyable recreational pursuits enjoyed by children and adults of all ages. Unfortunately, there are potential dangers associated with being in the water that include the very real possibility of drowning if precautions are not taken.

There are numerous safety suggestions for adults and children alike that include always go swimming with someone else and never swim alone. If you’re with a child or numerous children near the water, never take your eyes off of them and never trust two children to look after each other. Limiting swimming to areas where lifeguards are present is an advisable strategy.

Have young children and others not comfortable in the water wear approved flotation devices at all times, and sign up children in age-appropriate American Red Cross water orientation classes as soon as possible. Adopt the attitude that learning how to swim is an absolute necessity for everyone.

If a child is missing, always check the water first to see if that’s where they are. Always have reaching or throwing equipment handy in addition to a first aid kit and a cell phone. Know when to dial 9-1-1 or an emergency number. It’s also advisable to drink plenty of water even if you’re not thirsty, and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

If you own your own pool be aware that it’s a tremendous responsibility to make it as safe as possible for everyone, so make sure you have the appropriate barriers in place and safety equipment nearby.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day ten people die from unintentional drowning, and on average two of those are children aged 14 or younger. Among the annual unintentional injury deaths in the United States, drowning ranks fifth. For every child who dies from drowning, an additional five are taken to emergency departments for nonfatal submersion injuries.

If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself, please call 317-880-7666 or visit www.eskenazihealth.edu/doctors.

Dr. Sarah Stelzner
Pediatrician at Eskenazi Health

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