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Water safety tips stressed

Water safety tips stressed

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2012 12:59 pm

Since Memorial Day weekend, emergency medicine physicians at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt have already seen an increase in pool-related injuries, including fatalities.
During summer months, Children’s Hospital sees an uptick in water-related injuries associated with recreational activities, the majority of which occur in swimming pools.  
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal drowning remains the second-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death for children ages 1 to 14. Between January 2005 and October 2010, Children’s Hospital saw a total of 153 drowning and near-drowning patients younger than 15, including 18 deaths.
Throughout the summer, Children’s Hospital is partnering with Safe Kids Cumberland Valley and a number of other community organizations to introduce a proactive water safety campaign, “Be Pool Cool and Water Wise Middle Tennessee.” More than 1,100 educational posters, which offer preventive safety tips, are being posted at public pools and marinas in Nashville and other surrounding areas.
By following a few simple precautions laid out in this campaign, parents and caregivers can help prevent devastating injuries and deaths.  
“Drowning is particularly concerning because, in just a matter of minutes, a child can die or become significantly brain damaged,” says Chazlie Miller, Safe Children coordinator at Children’s Hospital.  “The best form of prevention is constant adult supervision.”
Miller says children should only wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved flotation devices, not water wings or floaties.
Other water safety tips include:
• Create barriers such as fences, gates and door locks around home pools
• Teach your child to swim, providing him or her with lifelong basic survival skills
• Prepare for an emergency by learning CPR, mapping out a rescue plan and having a phone near the pool
Safe Kids Cumberland Valley and its lead agency, Children’s Hospital, formed the Safe Kids Water Safety Task Force in the fall of 2010 to help reduce the risk of childhood drowning in Middle Tennessee.
Safe Kids Cumberland Valley includes representatives from public safety and children’s health agencies, public policy servants, community organizations, business leaders and community members who work together to keep children safe across 41 counties in Middle Tennessee.
The Safe Kids Coalition carries out grassroots initiatives in support of Safe Kids USA, a national nonprofit agency devoted to reducing unintentional injuries to children across the country.
For more information on water safety, visit

WCP 6.19.12


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