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If children and adolescents are around bodies of water on a regular basis, it benefits parents to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), which, in case of an emergency, can save lives, reduce the severity of injury, and improve the chance of survival. CPR training is available through the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and your local hospital or fire department.
Although older youth are more likely to know how to swim, they are at risk for drowning due to overestimation of their skills, unawareness of water currents or water depth, and when consuming alcohol or using drugs. To protect your adolescent from drowning, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers the following tips:
Diving accidents can result in permanent spinal cord injuries, brain damage, and/or death. Diving accidents occur when a person:
On boats, PFDs should be US Coast Guard-approved. In fact, many states require the use of PFDs on all boats at all times. Blow-up swimming devices such as "water wings," rafts, toys, and other items are not considered safe and should not be relied on to prevent drowning.
It is important that the PFD is the correct size for your adolescent (life jackets are usually labeled "adult" or "child"). However, PFDs do not replace adult supervision.
According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, 85 percent of boating-related drownings can be prevented with the proper use of PFDs.
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