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Safe Kids Kansas offers safety tips

8/28/2013

Water and children can be a dangerous combination, so there are a few precautions parents should take, said Cherie Sage, state director of Safe Kids Kansas.

Water and children can be a dangerous combination, so there are a few precautions parents should take, said Cherie Sage, state director of Safe Kids Kansas.

It's important to remember drowning can happen quickly and quietly.

"It's not like what we see in the movies with lots of thrashing and, 'Help, help,' " Sage said. "Lots of times, it's happening very suddenly in front of you."

Young children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water, so parents should take care even around a nearly-empty kiddie pool or a bucket of water in the backyard, she said.

When it comes to pool safety, especially in a group setting, the organization recommends parents take turns being "water watchers" for all children in the water. Adults can take turns with this duty, but this person should be solely focused on watching the children, she said.

"We know when all the adults are watching the kids, no one's really watching the kids," Sage said. "Kids act very quickly, and there are many distractions."

That said, it's important to remember accidents still happen, Sage said, noting others should not be too quick to judge.

"It's hard being a parent," she said. "There are so many things tugging at our attention.

"This is just simply one area where a simple mistake can be very tragic."

It's also a good idea for parents to be trained in first aid and CPR in case of an emergency, she said.

* KALEY CONNER, HDN