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Start Of Summer Brings Drowning Risk For Children

Chula Vista 4th graders take swimming lessons at Parkway Family Aquatic Cente...

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: Chula Vista 4th graders take swimming lessons at Parkway Family Aquatic Center on May 26, 2011.

It's a parent's worst nightmare: Finding their child floating face down or at the bottom of a pool. Most child drownings happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Dr. Birkbeck-Garcia, a pediatrician with Kaiser Permanente, urges parents to be vigilant.

Pool Life-Saving Tips

  • Never leave a child unattended in a pool or spa and always watch your child when he or she is in or near water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings to avoid entrapments
  • Have a telephone close by when you or your family is using a pool or spa
  • If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first
  • Share safety instructions with family, friends and neighbors
  • Learn how to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Learn to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly
  • Understand the basics of life-saving so that you can assist in a pool emergency

source: Pool Safely

“As a physician I have heard many parents say, ‘I only turned around for a second. I only reached to answer my phone. I thought I had locked the back door. I only propped the gate open to bring something in from the car.' ”

Yosina Lissbeck knows about the silent killer all too well. Her daughter was 14 months old when she nearly drowned in a daycare-center’s plastic kiddie pool.

Today Lissbeck is president and drowning prevention chair of Safe Kids San Diego. She has dedicated her life to preventing other parents from going through what she went through.

“We have seen a decrease here in San Diego," said Lissbeck. "We’re not out of the woods . We usually have about 10 drownings in San Diego every summer – we’d like to have zero.

For every 10 drownings there’s approximately 30 near-drownings, added Lissbeck.

Lissbeck said parents should to stay within an arm’s reach of their children at all times in and around the water and to learn CPR and first aid. She said drownings occur most often when parents are distracted.

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