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Drowning prevention

In Arizona, drowning is the number one cause of accidental deaths of children under age 4. This underscores the need for caution around pools, or any body of water, including bathtubs and buckets especially when infants and toddlers are present.

Supervision is the answer to preventing children from drowning, but because most drowning victims were last seen in an area of the home that is considered safe, UMC pediatrician Dr Philip Starceski recommends taking these additional safety measures: * Never leave children unattended in the pool, even for a few minutes, and never turn your back on a child near the water. Children often make no noise when they fall into the water. * Build and maintain a 5-foot fence with a self-closing gate to separate the pool from the rest of the yard. Vertical spacing in the fence should be no more than 4 inches and horizontal supports should be installed every 48 inches. Never leave the pool gate open

 * Install self-closing mechanisms or alarms on all doors that exit the home. Motion detector alarms offer additional protection but cannot be relied on as a first defense to protect young children.

* Add a poolside telephone. Many drownings occur when the caretaker leaves the pool area to answer the phone.

* Post safety instructions and CPR instructions in the pool area.

* Keep a coast-guard-approved life ring easily accessible and in clear view.

* Don't allow anyone of any age to swim alone.

* When swimming in a lake, stay in familiar, well-populated areas that are supervised by lifeguards.

* Restrict diving to designated areas and never dive into water where the depth is unknown or is less than 10-feet deep.

* Finally, stretch a life line across the pool to separate the deep end from the shallow end.