While swimming lessons help, nothing can “drown-proof” your child. Drowning is the number one cause of death for kids between the ages of one and four next to birth defects, and the rate is three times higher for black kids five to 14 years old. Most fatal accidents happen in backyard swimming pools.

To prevent drowning, the AAP suggests:

• Supervising small children constantly when in or near pools, bathtubs, hot tubs or any kind of standing water. A child can drown in just a few inches of water, so empty buckets and other containers after use. Young kids shouldnever be left alone in a bathroom.

• Older children should swim with abuddy.

• Parents, caregivers and pool owners should know CPR.

• If you own a pool, install a four-sided fence that’s at least five feet high. (It’s required by NJ state law.) And if you own a soft-sided pool, watch small kids very carefully, as they can lean over the sides and fall into the water.

• Put away water toys so they don’t tempt kids when pooltime is over.

• Skip inflatable swimmies and opt for life jackets instead when a child is learning to swim. They should be worn by everyone while riding in a boat.

• Never go swimming in a public pool or at the beach without a lifeguard present.

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