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Around Our Town: Water Safety

Kids Safe Swim Night

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07/01/2009 - By Diane Guerttman, Safe Kids Coordinator

Wyoming summers are beautiful with temperatures that are delightfully warm for swimming at the local pool or at nearby Alcova Lake. But wherever there is water, there is the potential for an unintentional drowning of a child. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children ages 1 to 4, and the second leading cause of accidental death among children ages 5 to 14, in the United States. The risk of drowning increases more than any risk area in the summer, compared to the rest of the year (up by 96%).

A child can drown in a matter of seconds. Child drownings typically occur when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision. Irreversible brain damage occurs after four to six minutes of being submerged. Nearly 9 out of 10 fatal drownings occur while a child is being supervised by a parent or care giver. Looking away for only a few seconds can result in tragedy for a parent. That's why Safe Kids of Central Wyoming offers parents and care givers a "Water Watcher" card so there is never any confusion to who is in charge of supervising and watching children in water.

Safe Kids and the City of Casper invite families to Safe Kids Swim Night at the Paradise Valley Pool on July 15th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Safety demonstrations, an open swim with treats and prizes are all part of the evening. "Water Watcher" cards and a limited number of life jackets will be available.

For more information on Safe Kids, call the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation at 577-2535.

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