Summer safety

summer kidSummer’s here! If your summer safety plan consists of stocking bandages, anti-bacterial spray and sunscreen, you might be missing an important lifesaving tool—CPR. If a family member, friend or infant in your care had a cardiac event, could you recognize the signs of a medical emergency and respond quickly and appropriately?

This summer season, the American Heart Association encourages families to be prepared for summer safety by learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR. With the swimming season and hot weather upon us, people should be prepared to act in case of a medical emergency.

Accidents, choking and drowning are leading causes of death in children. Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Of these, two out of the ten are children aged 14 or younger. Children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates. The fatal drowning rate of African American children ages 5 to 14 is almost three times that of white children in the same age range.

Learning CPR can help save lives in cases of drowning. Pool safety like locking gates, pool alarms, and closely monitoring children near pools and bodies of water are key to preventing drowning. Children and beginner swimmers should take swimming lessons and never swim alone. Find a local Heartsaver CPR class at

Since 2008, the American Heart Association has recommended that when you witness an adult or teen suddenly collapse to use Hands-Only CPR — CPR without breaths. Hands-Only CPR teaches basic steps: First, call 9-1-1 and then push hard and fast on the center of the chest until professional help or an AED arrives. By using Hands-Only CPR, bystanders can still act to improve the odds of survival, whether they are trained in conventional CPR or not. The AHA encourages everyone to view a one-minute Hands-Only CPR video at

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