EFFINGHAM— Oceans, lakes, rivers and backyard pools are some of the top destinations for families over the summer months. Even though these trips to relax or play in the water are fun, there are some tips parents should follow to keep their kids safe.

“Drowning is the second leading cause of death due to an injury in children aged one to 14,” said Dr. Ryan Jennings, chief medical officer of HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital and board-certified pediatrician. “Taking precautions and following established guidelines could save your child’s life.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even nonfatal drownings can result in long-term health problems. For every child who dies from drowning, another eight receive treatment in emergency departments. Drowning injuries can cause brain damage and lead to serious health complications.

The CDC provides some basic tips to keep your family safe around water this summer.

  • Learn basic swimming and water safety skills
    • Formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning. Children who have had swimming lessons still need close and constant supervision when in or around water.
  • Supervise closely
    • Designate a responsible adult to supervise closely and constantly when children are in or near water. Adults watching kids in or near water should avoid distracting activities like reading, using the phone, and consuming alcohol or drugs, because drowning happens quickly and quietly.
  • Wear a life jacket
    • Life jackets reduce the risk of drowning while boating for people of all ages and swimming abilities. Life jackets should be used by children for all activities while in and around any body of water, including swimming pools.
  • Learn CPR
    • Your CPR skills could save someone’s life in the time it takes for paramedics to arrive.

For more information on water safety, visit www.cdc.gov/drowning.

For more information about HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, visit St. Anthony’s website at stanthonyshospital.org.

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About Hospital Sisters Health System

Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states – Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.