Water safety tips to keep kids safe this summer

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COLUMBIA – The first full day of summer is Wednesday, and it's important to practice water safety. 

Sheila Robertson is the Pediatric Injury Prevention Coordinator at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital and leads the Safe Kids Program. 

“It’s really important that kids know how to be safe around the water,” she said.

The Safe Kids Program website shares statistics that show drowning is the leading cause of death for children 1 – 4 years old.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were 68 drowning cases in Missouri during 2015. Experts say the risk increases for both adults and children during the summer.

Robertson said everyone should be prepared in case of an emergency.

“It’s important for the parents to know that they should at least have their children learn the basic water survival skills. If they can do actual swim lessons, that’s even better,” she said. 

It’s those survival skills that could save a child’s life.

“Even if they’re not going to be a swimmer, per say, they could at least learn those basic survival skills,” she said.

Those skills include floating, treading water and controlled breathing. Visit safekids.org for more water safety tips.