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CONSIDER WATER SAFETY IN ALL AREAS Over the last five years, more than 40 children under the age of 6 have died from drowning in our area. Six of those deaths occurred in 2017. Drowning can happen to any child, anywhere, at any time. It’s not limited to pools and beaches — there are potential hazards in and around the home that can put children at risk. Consider these drowning prevention tips the next time you or a caregiver are responsible for young children.

 Designate a “water watcher.”

to be working, a soothing action such as swaddling in a blanket, slowly rocking in a chair, humming or going for a walk might be needed. Provide your child’s caregiver with recommendations of soothing actions that typically work for you.

Lack of adult supervision in and around the water is the main reason children die from drowning. An adult should be assigned to keep their eyes on the child at all times when they are in or near water, and must avoid distractions such as texting. Infants and toddlers should always be accompanied in the water and adults should stay within arm’s reach of the child.

 Never rely on floatation devices.

Flotation devices, such as water wings, inner tubes or even life vests should be used only in conjunction with close adult supervision.

 Be aware of hidden hazards.

A child can drown in as little as 1 inch of water. Everything from your toilet to your pet’s water bowl can pose a drowning risk. Empty bathtubs when they are no longer in use and keep bathroom doors closed.

Even one preventable child death is too many. Learn more about how you can help keep children in our community safe at www.preventneedlessdeaths.com.

 Let them know it’s okay to take a time out.

Let the caregiver know that if a situation becomes frustrating, it’s okay to leave the child safely on their back in the crib — even if they are still crying — and step out of the room to regroup. Stepping away from the situation reduces the chance of stress leading to a dangerous situation. If a break is necessary, have the caregiver check on the child frequently to ensure the child is still safe. www.gulfcoastfamily.org

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Gulf Coast Family - July 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

Gulf Coast Family - July 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...