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Experts urge swimming safety as the weather warms and families head to the pools

A certified infant swimming resource instructor said drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children between 1 year old and 4 years old.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An expert said that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death across the U.S. for children between 1 year old and 4 years old. As the weather starts warming, she is urging families to keep swimming safety in mind in their minds if thy head to the pool.

"Summer is the time when everyone is going to the pool, so it's an important time to think of water safety," said Korey Dye, a certified infant swimming resource instructor. "It's the second cause of death in ages 5 to 14."

She said there are four levels of protection that families can take to prevent accidental drownings. The first is to keep proper supervision of children while they are in the water.

She said it's best for parents to join their children in the water, so they are active participants in the fun and can act quickly respond if their child starts struggling to swim. 

The second step parents should take is to make sure all barriers to pools are secure. That can include ensuring pool gates are sturdy and doors are locked, to make sure children don't wander into the water without anyone realizing.

Third, she said families should enroll children in swimming lessons before they head to the pool. And finally, families should learn how to properly administer CPR in case they need to act fast.

"It's important to view it through the lens of, while this can be a fun recreational thing for your family, it's also potentially dangerous if all the safeguards aren't in place," said Dye.

She said around 1,000 children die every year in the U.S. due to drownings. She got started as a swimming instructor after working in healthcare and saw children enter the emergency room after accidental drownings.

She said most drownings happen between May and August, but by following those safety steps, families can stay safe and enjoy their time in the water.

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