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Water Safety
Drowning claims the lives of about nine people a day in the United States. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under 5 and the second leading cause of injury-related death among children age 5-14.

More than 60 percent of drownings statewide occur in swimming pools, but the ocean, lakes, retention ponds, rivers, bathtubs and even buckets claim their share of victims. Make sure that
anytime you're around water you keep a
watchful eye on children and practice
water safety.

Safety Tips
    •Learn to swim. If you live in Florida, the best thing you can do to stay
     safe around water is learn to swim. 
    •Enroll children in swim classes annually from age 3 or 4 until they become 
     strong swimmers. Adults that don't know how to swim should enroll in an adult
    •Enroll babies and toddlers in water safety training that teaches them to float
     and tread water. 
    •Never leave young children in a swimming pool area or bath tub without
     supervision. A supervising adult should not read, talk on the phone, leave to
     answer the door, cook or participate in any other distracting activity. 
    •Never swim alone. Always swim with a buddy. 
    •Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard. 
    •Never rely on air-filled swimming aids such as water wings in place of Coast
     Guard approved personal flotation devices (life jackets) or life preservers for
     children or any non-swimmer. 
    •Enter the water feet first. Protect your head, neck and spine. Never dive
     headfirst into any water where the bottom is not visible or that it is clear the
     area is free of obstacles. 
    •Do not mix alcohol with swimming or boating. 
    •Learn CPR and first aid. And make sure that anyone who baby sits your
     children knows CPR and first aid as well. 
    •Establish water safety rules for your family based on each person's swimming
    •Watch for rip currents or dangerous waves at the beach. 
    •If caught in a rip current, don't fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until the pull
     stops and then swim back in to shore. Don't try to swim against the current. 
    •Install a phone by your pool or keep a cell phone at hand in case of

For additional safety tips about specific aquatic activities, contact Julie Maddux, our community educator at 386-671-4014