Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DROWNINGS; Don't Succumb to Fear

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

DROWNINGS; Don't Succumb to Fear

Article excerpt

Summer is supposed to be a happy time. But it also is a time that could, in the blink of an eye, turn tragic.

That's because during the past decade, 744 children in this state have drowned.

Such accidents usually occur during the spring and summer, in backyard pools and when leisure time leads many parents to become distracted.

Which is why Florida Safe Pools, a statewide pool safety campaign, and the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission are using this time to bolster awareness.

They are emphasizing layers of safety.

The first layer is to simply be alert when children are in the pool.

The next layer includes safety equipment such as childproof door locks, pool screens or safety gates at least 4 feet high to prevent children from winding up in the pool.

If a child manages to get past that layer, then adults should know how to swim, and be versed in CPR and water safety skills.

There should also be a phone near the pool.

LEARNING TO SWIM

A young life lost is always a tragedy. And a life lost needlessly is especially sad.

A new study by USA Swimming revealed that minorities are especially prone to swimming deaths.

- Nearly 70 percent of African-Americans and 58 percent of Hispanics have low or no swimming ability.

- The rate is 40 percent for whites.

The reason for the disparity is not so obvious.

It's not primarily lack of money for swimming lessons, though that is the case for many low-income families. …

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