PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Memorial Day weekend is coming up in a few days and a lot of pools will be opening for the summer. May also happens to be National Water Safety month.
For this week's Mom's Morning Minute, Christine Palmer from Goldfish Swim School provided some tips and reminders before your kids get back in the water.
She says the number one thing to remember is that kids and adults should never swim alone. Palmer says sadly, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death of kids under the age of 4 and the second leading cause of accidental death in kids under 12.
Palmer advises to designate a "water watcher". This person should know that they are on duty, similar to a lifeguard, and remove all distractions like magazines, books, and cell phones. According to the organization Stop Drowning Now, 23% of child drownings happen during a family gathering near a pool.
If you're at a public pool, Palmer says to go over the rules of the pool with the kids and to point out where the lifeguards are stationed. She also recommends a brightly colored swimsuit for kids, especially if you're going to a lake or ocean where the water can be darker.
Life jackets can be vital for kids. Palmer says to swap out floaties for a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. The seal can be found on the life jacket.
Palmer recommends swim lessons for kids and to build the muscle memory of knowing what to do if you're in trouble. She says children who have lessons and practice basic techniques reduce their risk of drowning by 88%.
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