|By David Anderson, The Free Press, Kinston, N.C.|
Supervise the child.
"The main thing that I can recommend is supervision," said
Alston said every child, by at least the age of 6, should have "some basic understanding" of how to swim.
"The right techniques are essential in the development of habits of water safety," he said.
As summer gets closer and closer, swimming facilities around
The public pools at
"The main thing is to have parental supervision, and swim with a buddy," Alston said of being safe while in the water.
He also encouraged children to limit the use of floats and other pool toys because of the risk of the device carrying them into deep water.
Alston advised that swimmers should also be aware of their surroundings, and never dive into an area where they cannot see the bottom or do not know the depth of the water.
Parents should ensure lifeguards are on duty, and that children are wearing proper floatation devices.
The best floatation devices are
Safe Kids North Carolina, a coalition under the auspices of the
* Lock -- make sure your backyard pool is protected by a fence that is at least 4 feet high, and has a self-latching gate. Pools and spas should be locked up and covered when not being used, and ladders for above-ground pools should be taken away when not in use.
* Look -- Child caregivers should watch their children at all times. Avoid distractions such as cell phones, books or other people.
* Learn -- Make sure everyone knows how to swim, child or adult; adults should know how to use rescue gear, and how to give CPR to adults, children and infants.
"A fun day at the pool or spa can very quickly turn dangerous if we are not vigilant about water safety practices," Safe Kids N.C. Chairman
For more information on how to keep your children safe in the water, visit safekids.org/parents -- click the 'Water Safety Guide' tab.
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|