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Watch Now: Tips for Summer Swim Safety (Part 1)

(VIDEO: Safety in and around the water starts with the proper survival training. Experts share their tips for teaching children to be confident in the water.)

The South Florida summer season has arrived. With it comes sweltering days where a dip in the pool or a trip to the beach are just the remedy. Unfortunately, for many, this attraction to water can end in tragedy. According to data from the Florida Department of Health [1], Florida loses more children under age 5, to drowning than any other state. According to statistics, Florida overwhelmingly has the highest drowning rate in the nation for the 1–4 year-old age group.

Firefighters are often the first responders to many of these incidents involving children. Whether the drowning occurs at a pool, lake or beach, the end result is always devastating for families. For this reason, two Miami-Dade Firefighters, Gerald Little and Mark Tendrich, started the Little Swimmers [2], a swimming academy dedicated to promoting safety around the water and to teaching children of all ages how to survive in the water.

The team at Little Swimmers offers these tips to ensure safety around pools:

– Enroll children in swimming lessons at an early age.
– Maintain adult supervision at all times.
– Make sure parents or caregivers learn CPR.
– Install and use a pool fence.
– Make sure to have child-proof locks on all external doors and windows leading to pool.
– Equip pool fences and gates with safety latches.
– Always have a life ring, rescue rope and shepherd’s hook poolside.
– Be familiar with location of poolside telephone and emergency numbers (911).
– Make sure pool chemicals and supplies locked in a secured area.
– Keep pool area clear of electrical hazards.

The Baptist Health South Florida News team visited the swim academy to get some safety tips from the experts. Watch it now!

West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Little Swimmers will be offering three presentations on water safety.
Featured speakers will be Fernando Mendoza, M.D. and Zulma Berrios, M.D.
Dates: Thursday, May 7, Thursday, May 14 and Thursday, May 28, from 7-8 p.m.
Location: West Kendall Baptist Hospital 9555 SW 162 Avenue
All participants will receive up to a $75 discount on swimming lessons from Little Swimmers.
For more information or to register, call Anna Diaz at 786-467-3404.