Summer Swimming Safety

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four years of age.   According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children younger than age 5 represent more than 75 percent of pool submersion deaths and 78 percent of pool submersion injuries in the U.S. involving children younger than 15 years of age.

On average, there are almost 10 accidental drowning deaths a day in the US during summer months.

For every child 14 years and younger who died from drowning, 5 more received emergency care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

It only takes 30 seconds in the water for a child to drown.

As we enter the summer swimming season, follow these general guidelines to ensure that your children remain safe while swimming:

Never leave your child alone in or near water including a bath tub, bucket of water, pool or lakes.  Most children who drown quietly slip into the water unnoticed by adults who are often nearby.

Talk to your child about the importance of only swimming when being supervised by an adult.

If you have a pool, install a fence around it and install doors with locks to keep children away from and out of the pool.  Install door latches at least 54 inches high so as to be out of the reach of children.

Place alarms on doors and windows that lead to the pool area.

Teach your children to swim at an early age to ensure they can protect themselves in the event they accidentally fall into water or swim unattended. Make sure to get professional lessons.

For older children, use the buddy system when swimming to keep them safe.

Keep both rescue equipment and a phone by the pool.

Keep toys away from the pool when not in use to prevent children from going in to retrieve them.

Never have a drop off pool party or allow your child to attend a drop off pool party if they are under the age of 8 years.

Never assume someone else is watching.  Appoint a designated adult as the observer for pool safety.  Many drowning occur while adults are present but not watching.

Empty all wading pools immediately after done using them.

Air filled swimming aids are not a safe substitute for life jackets and never rely solely on life jackets to ensure safety.

Follow these guidelines to have a safe and enjoyable summer of swimming.

 ~ Daniel Dorrington, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Daniel Dorrington, MD

 

My Experience Raising Boys

My wife is currently pregnant with our fourth child and we recently found out it is going to be a boy.  Given we already are blessed with an 8 year old, 5 year old, and 3 year old boy, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned about raising boys.  Keep in mind this is simply my perspective from a father’s point of view.  Here is what I have learned:

Once they become mobile boys rarely stop.

Boys mature later than girls, but then again we dads often mature later too.

It is not a good idea to own anything “nice” as it will likely be ruined within a short time period.

Boys like to be outdoors as climbing, building and exploring are natural characteristics of boys.

Before becoming verbal, biting, hitting and kicking can be a means of communicating.

Bathing and underwear are considered optional.

Wrestling is a sign of affection.

Bikes and scooters are meant to go off of curbs and down big hills whenever possible.

Every day is an enjoyable journey and adventure.

It is not easy raising children in today’s society.  Popular media glorifies promiscuity, alcohol and drug use, violence and crude behavior.  How are we as parents able to overcome these obstacles?  I recently read a fantastic book called Boys Should be Boys. 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons.”  It is written by Dr. Meg Meeker who is an adolescent medicine doctor.  The wisdom from this book has been very helpful for me as both a pediatrician and father.  While the contents of this book are helpful for fathers, it may not apply to all families, particularly single parent or same sex parent families.  I want to share with you some of that wisdom and I encourage fathers or mothers to consider reading it.  Here are some excerpts:

“Every boy wants to be loved, accepted and valued. The quickest way to get there is by seeing mom or dad happy with him.”

“We often try to make our children happier by buying them things.  The reality is kids don’t need more of anything except time from their parents.  The true way to make a child happy is to spend meaningful time with them.”

“Boys need healthy encouragement from their fathers more than they need it from anyone else.  In a boy’s eyes, his father’s words are sacred.  They hold enormous power. His words can crush a boy or piece him back together after a fall.”

“Encouragement from a father can change a boy’s life.  To a son, a dad’s words are the final truth.  If they are positive, a boy feels that he cannot be beaten; if they are negative, however, a son feels that he could never win.”

“Young boys and men need less time face-to-screen with electronic life and more time face-to-face with people.  Sons who have healthy relationships with parents fare much better in life.”

“Boys need and want boundaries.  A boy without rules becomes a man without direction.”

“Fathers need to be careful that they do not project their own shortcomings on their sons.  Our sons are not mini versions of ourselves.”

The wisdom goes on.  For more information visit www.megmeekermd.com.   Dr. Meeker has also written two other excellent books:  “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters,” and “The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers.”

 

 ~ Daniel Dorrington, MD, Forest View Pediatrics

Daniel Dorrington, MD

 

Screening for Autism

Autism is a lifelong neurologic disorder, and we have seen the diagnosis rate increase dramatically over the last few decades. Autism is a developmental disability, significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3 years. It adversely affects a child’s educational performance, as well as his or her perception of the world, interaction with others and communication skills. Autism often is referred to as a “spectrum” disorder, meaning the characteristics and severity of …Continue reading →

Bronchiolitis

Forest View Pediatrics is seeing a large number of patients with bronchiolitis. Below are some common questions about this illness:

What is bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis is an illness in children, typically younger than two, characterized by wheezing and airway obstruction of the small airways or bronchioles. It usually starts out like a typical cold and then progresses to symptoms of fever, decreased appetite, wheezing, fast …Continue reading →