Magazine article USA TODAY

Keep Your Child Safe around Water

Magazine article USA TODAY

Keep Your Child Safe around Water

Article excerpt

Few things are as much fun as splashing around at the beach or in a backyard pool, but not every child is confident about taking the plunge. "For some children, the idea of getting in the water and trying to swim can be a bit frightening but, with the proper positive reinforcement, they can overcome their fears and discover just how much fun swimming can be," says K.J. Hales, author of It's Hard to Swim, the second and most-recent addition to the Life's Little Lessons by Ellie the Wienerdog educational picture book series.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, III., supports swimming lessons for most children four years and older. Water safety classes also can reduce the risk of drowning for younger children. "Most children are around water in some form, whether ifs a pool, a river, a pond, a lake or the ocean," Hales notes. "So, learning to swim isn't just for fun. It's also important for safety."

The Pediatric Academy provides several water-safety tips for parents:

* Never--even for a moment--leave small children alone or in the care of another young child while in bathtubs, pools, spas, or wading pools, or near irrigation ditches or standing water.

* Empty water from buckets and other containers immediately after use. …

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