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HEALTHWATCH: Children drownings
As more people head to the pool and the beach, here's a word of caution. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for kids under 14. We talked to experts about what parents can do to keep their kids safe
"1-2-3 dive!" Laura Hussey "It's Florida, there is water everywhere, and it's supposed to be fun. It also has to be safe. That's what these kids are learning here at the pool at Emerald Coast Scuba"
Mothers Nicole and Anna started their kids in swimming lessons before they were nine months old.
Nicole Taylor "It's so important, because we live in a neighborhood that has a pool and he has two older brothers that he's out there playing with"
Dr. Robert Hamilton of Sacred Heart on the Emerald Coast says the caution is well-founded.
Too often, kids find easy access to unsupervised pools.
Dr. Hamilton "They've estimated that up to seventy percent of gates are open when children drown in swimming pools"
Dr. Hamilton says education is the key to drowning prevention.
That includes water safety training for kids, as early as possible.
Dr. Hamilton "They come from a water environment, in utero, so it's not totally foreign to the. But what you don't want to have is situations where your child doesn't know what to do"
Coach Mary "Right on your back, roll over...Right there, let's just stay right there"
Coach Mary at Emerald Coast Scuba teaches kids as young as six months basic skills that can save their lives.
Anna Johnson "I was afraid that if she was to fall in, what would she do?"
Now Molly Caroline and DJ know exactly what to do.
Coach Mary "Where do you swim to?" Kids "Wall!" Coach Mary "What do you do if you're tired in the pool?" Kids "Roll over!"
Coach Mary and Dr. Hamilton say there's one more crucial element, .constant vigilance from adults.
Dr. Hamilton "It takes a minute to drown. It doesn't take very long for a child to fall in the water, or fall in a bucket, or two inches of water in the bathtub face down"
Coach Mary "Never, never never take your eyes off your children in the water"
Laura Hussey "Children between one and five most often drown in residential pools. For older teens between fifteen and nineteen, it's outdoor bodies of water, often within ten yards of safety."
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