Teenager Water Safety Message Often Ignored -- What You Should Know

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When we talk about pool safety, oftentimes the message is aimed at young kids. But teenage water safety is an important topic to discuss with your family.

“Pool safety is something that we as pediatricians feel really passionately about,” said Dr Katy Cahill, Pediatric Medicine Specialist with Associated Physicians in Madison. “Making sure kids are safe around water is so important. We always encourage that kids should never swim alone; they should only swim in supervised areas. Ideally they have a buddy in the water with them with adults supervising close by. Even if your kids can swim please make sure they’re well supervised if they’re in a pool or in a lake.”

When it comes to teenagers, often times parents aren’t given tips to prioritize this age group and safety around water.

“Teenagers can have lots of different behaviors when they’re around their friends and they’re not around their parents. And there definitely can be some shenanigans that occur at pool parties so teenagers sometimes will drink and drinking alcohol can change some of the behaviors and choices they’re making and that can really be dangerous around pools. Every year we hear about kids at a pool party trying to impress their friends diving off the diving board head first or diving off the side and hitting the bottom of the pool and seriously injuring their spinal cords and having problems because of that that are not reversible. So with your teenagers if they’re having a pool party please make sure alcohol is not present and encourage all of the kids there to make sure you’re having talks about pool safety and how to keep your teenagers safe around the pool.”

Learning life saving skills is important for all ages.

“One of the final things we talk with families about is learning CPR. So there are many resources where you can learn CPR and that is something that can really be a life saving skill even if you don’t have a pool. It’s great to be professionally trained in CPR so if something does come up you’ve got those skills,” Dr. Cahill said.

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