Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Summer Swim

As summer nears, thoughts turn to playing at the pool or the beach but did you know that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death between the ages of 5 and 24? A backyard swimming pool is 100 times more deadly to children than a gun at home! Swimming lessons are available for all ages - even infants! Teach your children to swim today - it may save a life.

Every Cub Scout is taught to "Buddy up!" when swimming. Always swim with a partner, every time — whether you're swimming in a backyard pool or in a lake. Even experienced swimmers can become tired or get muscle cramps, which might make it difficult to get out of the water. When people swim together, they can help each other or go for help in case of an emergency.

When swimming, watch out for the dangerous “too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, and too much sun activity. Never swim so far into a lake or ocean that you haven't enough energy left for the swim back. Body temperature can drop quickly in water. If a child is shivering or experiencing muscle cramps, get him or her out of the water immediately.

Don't assume that a child who knows how to swim isn't at risk for drowning. All kids need to be supervised in the water, no matter what their swimming skill levels. Set water safety rules for the whole family based on swimming abilities. For example, inexperienced swimmers should stay in water less than chest deep or be required to wear a life jacket.

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