Debra Nagel column sig

Summer is a favorite season for kids and adults alike. We love to have fun and enjoy being outside.

Swimming and other water-related activities are an excellent way to get physical activity and cool off. However, swimming is not risk-free.

Drownings are a leading cause of death for young children ages 1 to 14. Three children die every day as a result of drowning. For every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal swimming accidents. Let us protect our children this summer.

Learn life-saving skills like taking a CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) class. If your children are going to a pool, is there a lifeguard present? Teach your child to always swim with a buddy.

Fence in the pool. Install a four-sided isolation fence. It should have self-closing and self-latching gates. Keep children away from the area when they are not supposed to be swimming.

A life jacket is a MUST. Make sure children and adults wear life jackets in and around natural bodies of water, even if they know how to swim. Life jackets can be used around pools for weak swimmers.

Be observant. Watch children in the pool and even in the bathtub closely at all times. Drowning happens quickly and quietly. Adults watching children in or near water should avoid distracting activities like talking on phones, reading, playing games, and using alcohol.

Keep your summer fun.

Debra Nagel is a registered nurse for the Jasper County Health Department.