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Daily Dose

Swim Lessons Can Reduce Risk of Drowning

1:15 to read

Now that hot weather is with all of us, the issue of childhood drowning is an ever-present concern. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that after the age of five years, all children be taught to swim. The AAP does not recommend for or against swimming lessons as a measure to prevent drowning in children younger than five years. Between 2000 and 2005, 6,900 children died from non-boating accidental drowning. The rate of drowning was almost four times higher for children one to two years of age, and twice as high for those younger than five.

An article in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine looked at the association between swimming lessons and risk of drowning specifically in the one to four year old age groups. Previous concerns had been raised about the potential for swimming lessons to increase the risk for drowning in younger children. This study provided good news that kids aged one to four who have taken formal swimming lessons have an 88% less risk of drowning. Researchers found that only three percent of the children who had drowned had taken swimming lessons. So with this news, it might be prudent to start swimming lessons at a younger age than previously thought.

But swimming lessons alone will not prevent drowning and even in this study, many of the older children who drowned were noted to have been proficient swimmers. It is still important to have other drowning prevention strategies in place including pool fencing (some parents with pools feel like their child will not be able to unlock a door and head to the pool and do not have a fence in place, and I totally disagree with that argument), constant and age appropriate adult supervision and training in CPR. Children are amazing at finding ways to unlock doors, and windows that lead outside and no parent can know where their child is for every minute of the day. If you have a pool and a child is missing always check the pool first, as a child can quietly slip into the water and lose consciousness in as little as two minutes and drown in five minutes.

That's your daily dose, we'll chat again tomorrow.

Daily Dose

Fire Safety Month

October is 'National Fire Safety' month and a great opportunity to review fire safety within your own home.October is ‘National Fire Safety' month and a great opportunity to review fire safety within your own home. I did not realize that fire and burns are the third leading cause of injury related deaths in the home. I do remember having a fire in our own home when I was a child and how frightening it was. Because of that, I have always been "freaky" about fire in my own home. Fires happen quickly, quietly and studies show that you only have about 3 minutes to get out of the house after a fire breaks out.

So... this month you should have a family fire drill, which requires a plan in case of fire. Where will you meet, how do you get out of the house if you cannot get out of your room, crawling out of the house on your hands and knees if necessary etc. Rehearsing what you will all do makes it second nature if a fire ever really happens. We do this in the hospital and the office too, kind of like a "mock code" for cardiac arrests. Preschool children learn about STOP, DROP, and ROLL if there is a fire and their clothes should be involved. Review this with your children. Install smoke alarms in all bedrooms and make sure the batteries are checked. Changing batteries with the clock changes each year is a great reminder. Talk to your kids about 911 and how and when to call, and teach them their address once they are between thee and five years of age. Prevention is the key, and planning ahead is the best remedy to prevent a disaster. That's your daily dose, we'll chat tomorrow. More Information: Home Safety Council

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