water safety for preschoolers

The water is a big draw for little kids, which is why it's important that you do all that you can to keep them safe on it, near it, or in it.

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Water is attractive to kids, especially during the hot summer months. Find out what you can do to keep them safe while they splash and play.

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It's a sobering statistic, but according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a young child can drown in as little as 2 inches of water. What follows are simple steps you can take to prevent an unnecessary water tragedy in your home, on a family vacation, or anywhere that water may pose a danger for your child.
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Tips to Play It Safe

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A four-foot-high fence should fully enclose your outdoor pool, hot tub, or Jacuzzi, and separate it completely from your home. All gates should have automatic latching and be weighted to close quickly whenever anyone enters or exits. All locks and latches should be out of a child's reach.
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Your children should have your full attention at all times when at play in or around water, and they should always be within an arm's reach of you. Never leave children unattended in or near a pool, even for a moment--this includes kiddie pools. Be attentive at all times, especially if you're at a crowded public pool.
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Your family pool should be equipped with proper rescue gear like a shepherd's hook or a ring-shaped life preserver. All adults (including babysitters and nannies) should be trained in CPR, and a phone with a list of emergency numbers should be kept within access of the pool.
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Air-filled swimming aids like water wings are not a substitute for a proper life vest. If your child is not a strong swimmer, never let her enter water in or on an air-filled floatation device without supervision.
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When not in use, remove all pool toys from the pool and store them safely away. Toys left in the pool are an easy temptation for little children.
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The Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that steps and ladders leading to above-ground pools be secured and locked. When the pool is not in use, these should be removed and properly stored.
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The AAP doesn't advise swimming lessons for children younger than 4. Parents can best gauge when a child is ready to try swimming lessons. Keep in mind that swimming lessons are still no guarantee against drowning.
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On visits to beaches, lakes, rivers, or water parks, parents should never allow young children to enter the water unattended, and kid-sized life vests should be worn over bathing suits.
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Invest in a pair of water shoes for your kids: These will help protect tender feet from hot beach sand, rough pool surfaces, and sharp objects like shells and rocks.
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Whenever spending time in any type of water craft, children should wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vest at all times. The AAP has more tips on choosing appropriate life-jackets and preservers for use with your family.
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Parents are strongly discouraged from allowing children younger than 16 to operate personal water craft, and even then children should be closely supervised.
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For more pool-safety tips, visit the following web sitest:
Important Disclaimer: This information is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a doctor with questions about your or your child's condition. NickJr.com does not recommend or endorse specific tests, products, procedures, opinions, or other information provided by any sponsors or other third parties. Please also see NickJr.com's Terms of Use.
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