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Water Safety

by Greg Gaitan, MD

Kids_Beach_LR.jpgWe live along the coast, which means families will be spending more time enjoying all of the wonderful outdoor activities that our community has to offer. Beaches provide cool relief from hot weather, but they can also be dangerous for children.

Kids need constant supervision around the water, and the good news is they can be kept safe if you take the proper precautions:

  • Kids should not swim alone.
  • Teach them to use the buddy system so there’s always someone looking out for them.
  • Teach your kids to swim when and where a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Kids should not swim close to pilings or piers because waves can cause swimmers to collide with them.
  • Beaches often have unpredictable currents and tides. It’s a good idea to check in with the lifeguard when you arrive to find out about the water conditions.
  • Kids should not swim in large waves or undertows, and they should not stand with their backs to the water because unexpected waves can knock them over.
  • Teach kids that if they’re caught in a current or undertow, they should swim parallel to the shore or tread water and call for a lifeguard’s help.
  • Stings from jellyfish can be painful, so kids should avoid them in the water.
  • Children should always get out of the water during bad weather, especially lightning.

Please help your kids stay safe…and enjoy your summer!

Dr. Greg Gaitan has been practicing Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine with Sansum Clinic for 15 years.


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