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Summer is coming. Here’s how to keep kids safe while swimming

Updated April 2, 2024 - 7:00 pm

An average of eight children drown each year in South Nevada.

With the onset of summer, safety experts are reminding parents and the public about how to enjoy swimming pools safely and avoid water-related incidents.

“Drowning is something that can easily happen on anyone’s watch,” said Jeanne Marsala, injury prevention coordinator at Sunrise Children’s Hospital and director of Safe Kids Clark County, in a statement.

“We need to keep educating and reminding the community about the extra precautions we can all take to keep kids safe around water — especially when we haven’t been around pools or other large bodies of water for months due to weather and access,” Marsala said.

According to a news release from Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Clark County, studies show that although the vast majority of parents — 90 percent — say they supervise their children while swimming, many parents admit to being distracted at the same time, including by basic activities like talking, eating, reading or taking care of another child.

Even a near-drowning can be catastrophic, experts say.

“Kids who survive a near-drowning may have brain damage, and after four to six minutes under water the damage is usually irreversible,” according to the news release.

On Monday, Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids partnered with the Southern Nevada Child Drowning Prevention Coalition, County Commissioner Justin Jones, the Clark County Fire Department and parent Ciera Mendoza to host April Pool’s Day at Water Wings Swim School in northwest Las Vegas.

In addition to providing a demonstration of a simulated drowning and rescue, safety tips were offered.

These six tips were provided by Sunrise Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Clark County:

■ Give kids undivided attention at a pool or any body of water. Supervise them without distraction.

■ Use the Water Watcher strategy. When there are several adults, designate one as the Water Watcher to prevent gaps in supervision.

■ Teach kids not to swim alone. Teach them to only swim with an adult.

■ Wear life jackets.

■ Learn CPR.

■ Teach kids to never swim near drains or suction outlets. They can cause situations where kids get stuck under water, experts say.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BrettClarkson_ on Twitter.

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