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Summer Water Safety

June 11, 2015

An estimated 3,600 children in the U.S. go to an emergency room each year after nearly drowning. In addition, more than 800 children die due to accidental drowning each year, so understanding water dangers is key to staying safe in and around water for both children and adults. Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy, a partnership of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Kohl’s Cares, promote education and awareness that leads to injury prevention. The following are important safety tips for caregivers to help keep children safe in and around water this summer:

Practice caution when in or near water.
  • Adults should always supervise children while swimming or playing near water.
  • Enroll children in swim lessons to help teach them water safety. Contact your local YMCA, many YMCAs offer parent/child swim lessons as young as 6 months on up through adult classes.
  • Make sure that approved personal flotation devices (lifejackets) are worn at all times while in a boat and/or near bodies of water.
  • Teach children how to safely act and play around water — never run, push, dunk or jump on others in or around water.
  • Do not to play near creeks, drainage ditches or other bodies of water, especially when there is fast-running water or currents. Also, the water may be deeper than you think.
  • Enclose pools and spas completely with a barrier or fence.
  • Swim only in areas designated for swimming and areas that are guarded by lifeguards.
Maintain constant supervision.
  • Drowning usually happens quickly and silently when children are out of sight for less than five minutes, even when one or both parents are around.
  • Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
Know how to respond to a water emergency.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
  • Know how and when to call 9-1-1.
  • Enroll in Red Cross water safety, first aid and/or CPR courses to learn what to do. Insist that babysitters, grandparents and other caregivers know these lifesaving skills.

The Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Kohl’s Cares® share the mission of keeping kids in our community safe, healthy and injury free. That’s why, together, they developed Kohl’s Cares Grow Safe & Healthy, a community injury prevention program that provides a trusted educational resource for safety in the home, outdoors and on the go. The program includes an informative website, a popular game app for kids called Keep Spriggy Safe — available on iTunes or Google Play, and a Mobile Tour Unit that facilitates injury-prevention outreach and education at community events. For more information, visit the website
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