Health department urges water safety

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By The Staff

As Marion County residents enjoy summer activities, the Marion County Health Department is urging the community to be watchful of children taking part in water recreation.

“Unintentional drowning is one of the leading causes of death for small children,” said Carol Jubelirer, Marion County Health Department executive nurse director. “It takes as little as two inches of water for a child to drown, so adults should keep close supervision on children while they are in or around the water.”

In 2007, Florida led the nation in unintentional drowning deaths pf children ages 1 to 4 years old.  Last year Marion County had three drowning deaths. Thus far this year, Marion County has suffered four deaths due to unintentional drowning.

Tips adults can use to prevent unintentional

drowning of children are:

n Never leave a child unsupervised while in or near water.

n Designate an adult (water watcher) to supervise children while in or near water.

n Never leave toys or pets inside a pool area (they can attract a child and make him search for a way to get to the toy or pet).

 n Always empty bathtubs, buckets, and wading pools after use.

 n Use child-proof toilet locks and keep bathroom and laundry room doors closed.

 n Always lock pool gate latches.

 n Fit and provide children a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket when they are near open water, on a boat or when doing water sports.

 n Learn CPR.

For more information on drowning prevention or water safety, contact the Marion County Health Department at (352) 629-0137.