Keeping Kids Safe Around Water This Summer

O’FALLON, IL. — Oceans, lakes, rivers, and backyard pools are some of the top destinations for families over the summer months. Even though these trips to relax or play in the water are fun, there are some tips parents should follow to keep their kids safe.

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“Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death in children aged one to 14,” said Dr. Vinay Bhooma, chief medical officer of HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “By following established guidelines and taking precautions, you can save your child’s life.”

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even nonfatal drownings can result in long-term health problems. For every child who dies from drowning, another eight receive treatment in emergency departments. Drowning injuries can cause brain damage and lead to serious health complications.

The CDC provides some basic tips to keep your family safe around water this summer.

  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills
    • Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning. Children who have had swimming lessons still need close and constant supervision when in or around water.
  • Supervise closely
    • Designate a responsible adult to supervise closely and constantly when children are in or near water. Adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like reading, using the phone, and consuming alcohol or drugs because drowning happens quickly and quietly.
  • Wear a life jacket
    • Life jackets reduce the risk of drowning while boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. Life jackets should be used by children for all activities while in and around any body of water, including swimming pools.
  • Learn CPR
    • Your CPR skills could save someone’s life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.

For more information on water safety, visit

For more information about HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, visit

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