Anyone — especially a young child — can drown in only a few inches of water.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says it doesn’t recommend any swim instruction for kids under the age of 1.
And even after a child learns how to swim, the child should be supervised by a parent or guardian (preferably one who knows CPR) carefully, the academy warns.
The academy offers these additional suggestions:
- Be aware of small bodies of water a child might encounter, such as a bathtub, fishpond, ditch, fountain, rain barrel, watering can or bucket.
- An adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision,” whenever an infant, toddler or young child is near water.
- Empty and put away an inflatable pool after a child is finished swimming.
- Do not allow running near a pool or pushing others under water.
- Don’t allow a child to use an inflatable toy or mattress in place of a life jacket.
- Clearly mark a pool’s deep and shallow ends.
- Any pool should be completely surrounded with at least a 4-foot-high fence.
- If your pool has a cover, remove it completely before allowing swimming.
- Keep a safety ring with a rope beside the pool at all times.
- Install a phone in the pool area with emergency numbers clearly marked.
- A child must always wear a fitted life jacket when swimming or riding in a boat.
- Any adult should not drink alcohol when swimming.
- Eliminate distractions, such as a phone call or working on the computer, while a child is in the water.
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