[Read about how swimming lessons may help keep a child from drowning.]
Both Lozon and Cianflone recommend that backyard pools be surrounded by fencing on all sides and have a self-locking gate so kids cannot wander out the back door and jump into the pool. Even parents who consistently tell their young children not to go in the water without mom or dad around should not assume they'll heed their advice, says Cianflone. "Little kids are attracted to water; they don't necessarily know that water is dangerous to them." Door alarms, a retractable pool cover or floating alarms that sound if the surface of the pool's water is broken also may help prevent a child from getting into the pool unsupervised, adds Cianflone.
Children who go swimming in lakes, oceans, and rivers need life jackets, says Cianflone, and parents need to model the behavior for young kids.
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