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A splash of spring

The arrival of warmer weather means children will be taking to the water.

By EVE LEBERSON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 7, 2002

Turn down the thermostat and break out the Wacky Noodle. Spring is here, and summer vacation is less than two months away.

Water is everywhere when you live in Florida.

And, where there's water, there's the risk of drowning.

The best way to prevent water accidents and drownings is to supervise your children closely when they are around water, says Chris Poole, an Infant Swimming Research instructor who teaches survival swimming to infants and toddlers at Hunter's Green Country Club.

Our swim instruction guide, on page 3 includes Poole's and other programs throughout northern Hillsborough County.

While not everyone agrees on what age to begin swimming lessons, experts are unanimous in stressing that nothing replaces supervision. Even a competent swimmer can become disoriented in the water, or injured while playing with another child.

Other safety tips:

If your home has a pool, install a porch phone so you never have to leave the pool area to answer a ringing phone. Enclose the pool with a four-sided, self-latching fence. And, Poole added, make sure that "any caregiver who will be around children should have a good working knowledge of CPR."

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