It’s the time for public swimming pools to open, but a pediatric emergency doctor says that means danger. Dr. Steven Dawson of Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines says for kids 18 and under, it’s not just pools; in Iowa more actually drown in ponds, rivers or lakes. Dawson says as you might expect, toddlers are one high-risk group for drowning accidents. But he adds the other is older teenage boys, for a couple of reasons.He says they may be big, strong and good swimmers, but the biggest causes of drowning are horseplay and alcohol. He says toddlers aren’t entirely to blame for their reckless abandon. He says the people charged with watching the kids are often having a drink when tragedy strikes. Dr. Dawson says water safety is often a matter of just paying attention to a child or a companion. He says nine out of ten people who drown do so within ten feet of safety, and over half the victims were able to swim. Dawson says with careful attention and a buddy along, even kids with seizure disorders can safely enjoy the water.
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