kids in poolSummer is here, school is out and children will be everywhere. During summer months, people are more active, participating more in sports and recreational activities. More accidents happen during this time of year also. Because we live in Florida water is the main concern.

Pools, lakes, ponds, and beaches mean summer fun and cool relief from hot weather. But the water also can be dangerous for kids if you don’t take the proper precautions. Nearly 1,000 kids die each year by drowning and most drowning’s occurring in home swimming pools. It is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24. The good news is there are many ways to keep your kids safe in the water and make sure that they take the right precautions when they’re on their own.

As we approach another fun-filled summer I’d like to give some safety precautions for kids. One of the simplest and purest joys of summertime for children is the kiddie pool. But a new study finds that danger can lurk in those gentle waters when caregivers let down their guards. During the warmer months, on average, one child drowns every five days in a portable aboveground pool — including those small inflatable pools filled only with a few inches of water, as well as larger portable pools that can hold as much as four feet of water. Because portable pools are small, inexpensive and easy to use, parents often do not think about the potential dangers these pools present.

A study looked at the circumstances around 209 drowning deaths in portable pools by children under 12, from 2001 through 2009, as compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The majority of the deaths were children under five. And many of those can be attributed to brief lapses in supervision, while others resulted when children found ways around barriers meant to keep them safe.

Keeping children safe around pools, of any size, means preventing access to the water by unsupervised children as well as constant supervision when children are in and around the water. It takes only a couple of minutes and as little as two inches of water for a child to drown, experts say. A study says, for young children, adult presence is not enough to keep children safe. “For the young kids, toddlers and infants, touch supervision is necessary,” in which an adult is just two feet away from any child in the pool, whether in the pool or on the edge.

We know that the best parent in the world can’t supervise their child 100 percent of the time; however, we need to come up with additional ways to prevent injuries to children. This is just one summer precaution but with summer officially underway, it’s a good time for parents to tune into other warm weather dangers to keep their children safe.

Finally, this month is also the time we celebrate fathers. I must admit that I became a father before I knew what it meant to be a father. For a long time, I thought life was all about me – how do I make my way in the world, and how do I become successful and how do I get the things that I want. But after my first child was born my life took a turn. It revolved around that little boy who was given to me to care of; from that moment I began to think about the kind of world I would leave behind for him.

What I began to realize was that life doesn’t count for much unless I was willing to play some small part in leaving him a better world, even if it was difficult, even if the work seemed great, and even if I didn’t get very far in my lifetime. This is the ultimate responsibility of fathers and mothers. As fathers, we try. We hope. We do what we can to build our house upon the sturdiest rock. And when the winds come, and the rains fall, and they beat upon that house, we keep faith that we will be there to guide, to watch over, to protect, and lead our children through the darkest of storms into the light of better days.

This is my prayer for all fathers on Father’s Day, and it is also my hope for all families in the years ahead. May God bless our fathers and our children. HAVE A SAFE SUMMER AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

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