Stories about: Swimming

Under lock and key: secure cleaning products to protect kids

Bright colors and interesting shapes make some cleaners appealing to children. But the contents can be deadly is swallowed.
Bright colors and interesting shapes make some cleaners appealing to children. But the contents can be deadly if swallowed.

A recent study showed the number of injuries young children suffer due to exposure to household cleaning products has been decreased by close to 50 percent in the past two decades. But despite the progress, about 12,000 children under the age of 6 are still sent to U.S. emergency rooms each year because of accidental poisonings caused by cleaners.

While the importance of keeping cleaners out of reach of children may seem like common sense, the sheer number of ED visits related to accidental poisoning proves that more work needs to be done. In response, Lois Lee, MD, MPH, of Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program shares her thoughts on the topic.

Out of the thousands of parenting buzzword that have come and gone over the years, I’ve always thought ‘toddler’ was the most accurate. At that age kids are just learning how to move independently— from crawling to walking and everything in between— and the result is a blur of explorative energy, ‘toddling’ everywhere their small bodies can take them.

But as their feet bring them to new places, first slowly on wobbly legs and then faster and faster as they master mobility, their hands are constantly exploring the world around them as well.  And unfortunately, for kids that age, what gets in the hands often ends up in the mouth.

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Keeping teen swimmers safe

Teen swimmers are more likely to engage in high risk behavior around water
Teen swimmers are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors

Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program

As a physician, there are certain patients’ stories that stay with you long after you’ve treated them. The dog days of summer remind me of when I was a resident and treated a teenager who nearly drowned in a lake. The patient survived, but only after suffering severe brain damage. He was part of a larger group of kids who went to a nearby lake to escape the heat and blow off some steam, but one of them couldn’t swim well and got in trouble. My patient saw him struggling and bound out into the deep waters to help.

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Great weekend for swimming, do you know pediatric CPR?

If your child's a swimmer it's recommended you take an CPR class from a licensed professional

Even though it’s only been warm for a few weeks, Children’s Hospital Boston’s Emergency Department (ED) has already treated several young patients for near drowning, and, sadly, there have already been many drownings nationwide, including the 2 year-old son of former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, who drown in the family’s backyard hot tub. In an effort to reduce drownings and near-drownings, Thrive asked Josh Farber-Sault, RN, a nurse in our ED, to show parents how to perform pediatric CPR in an emergency.

While it’s good for parents to watch and learn from Josh’s video, it’s important to note that viewing it doesn’t constitute formal CPR training. Any parent or caregiver who plans on having their child around water this summer is strongly recommended to take an official CPR training course.

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Water safety: Swimming pools aren’t the only drowning risk for toddlers

Lois Lee, MD, MPH
Lois Lee, MD, MPH, works in Boston Children’s Emergency Department Injury Prevention Program.

Every summer seems to bring a tragic reminder of the need for vigilance around children and swimming pools.

Drowning is the second leading cause of injury related death for kids in the U.S. One of the most common scenarios for these accidents involves toddlers drowning in swimming pools—usually when the parent thinks the child is safely inside the house.

Unfortunately, at this age, if a child ends up face down in the water, she usually does not have the cognitive ability or the coordination to pull herself out. Infants can drown in a just a few inches of water in the bathtub, which is why they should NEVER be left unsupervised in the tub. Toddlers can drown in water that is at a level less than their own standing height; so again, they should never be left unsupervised where there is standing water. This includes swimming pools, garden ponds, five gallon tubs and even toilets.

Every parent knows that toddlers need to be closely supervised at all times, but it only takes a blink of an eye for a toddler to wander away and get injured, especially around water. Considering the potential danger water poses, here are some important water safety practices every family should know.

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