Tag Archive for 'swimming'

Weekly Highlights (9/27/2011)

Welcome to “Weekly Highlights”, our weekly post that recaps important child health and safety news, research, and recalls from the previous week and other great reads we’ve come across in our internet travels.

In the News:

How Safe is Your Indoor Swimming Pool? - Chlorine can mix with sweat, hair products, makeup, etc. to form byproducts that may be harmful to health. Scientists are researching the long-term effects, but meanwhile, a good shower with soap before entering the pool can go a long way.

Hospitals Ditch Free Formula in Record Numbers - The number of hospitals distributing free formula samples is decreasing as the U.S. Surgeon General, medical organizations, and health advocates call for more support for breastfeeding.

Play Yards: What Parents Should KnowThe CPSC issues a warning to parents about the dangers of play yards. Meanwhile, they are also pursuing safety standards for the equipment.

Blogger Living off His Wife’s Breast Milk - After his wife produced an abundance of excess breast milk, a man is attempting to live off of his wife’s breast milk and blogging about it. The couple argues that they were unable to donate the milk, yet many commenters on their blog are clammoring for it. Do you believe them?

New Research:

A Better Way to Treat Obsessive-Compulsive Kids 
A recent study highlighting the effectiveness of behavioral therapy to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders affirms earlier research and may lead to better coverage by insurance companies. Children who received medication and therapy compared with those who received only medication showed twice the improvement.

Premature Babies May Face Long-Term Health Problems
Researchers at Stanford followed over 600,000 individuals born in the 1970s into their 30s, 5% of whom were born preterm, and found that babies born premature had a higher risk of death up to age 5 that waned and then reappeared by young adulthood. The primary factor was heart defects, but respiratory and endocrine problems were also cited. The risk of mortality is still low, 1 in 1,000, but the takeaway is that individuals born preterm need to monitor their health more closely and avoid other risk factors like obesity and smoking.

Are Pediatrician’s Visits Too Short?
A third of parents surveyed in a study published in the journal Pediatrics say that their well-child visits last less than 10 minutes, and only about half of them included a developmental assessment. Another 47% reported that their visits lasted between 11 and 20 minutes, yet most parents report a high level of satisfaction with the short visits indicating that either a lot of ground is covered in a short amount of time are parents just don’t know what to expect. How do you feel about your visits?

Good Reads:

Why Toddlers Don’t Eat Vegetables from Mamapedia Voices - How we influence our children’s food choices.

Waking Up Full of Awesome from Pigtail Pals - Remember when you were 5 years old and you woke up full of awesome? It’s time to get it back. I love one of the commenter’s ideas – Frame a picture of your awesome 5 year old happy self to look at every day.

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes! from WendysLookBook - Makes me want to go out and stock up on scarves.

Recalls, September 19 – September 27:

CPSC Child Product Recalls

Child Safety Seat Recalls
No child safety seat recall announcements this week.

USDA/FDA Recalls

If there’s anything you see and think we should feature, please send it our way to jasmine@purebebe.com. We hope your week is off to a great start!


Jasmine & Heather

Happy National Pool Safely Day!

As the days turn shorter and the signs of Summer slowly fade away into Fall, we wanted to remind everyone about safe pool practices. Sound weird? Well, since Memorial Day weekend this year, nearly 400 children aged 14 and under have drowned or almost drowned in swimming pools or hot tubs*. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) declared yesterday the first national Pool Safely Day to urge “parents and children to remain vigilant in and around pools, spas, and public and private water parks and aquatic facilities nationwide year-round.”

Below is an educational video that covers many of the dangers associated with swimming pools (underwater pool/spa drains that hair can get caught in), and many of the safety measures you can take to avoid the dangers (designating a ‘water watcher’, installing fences, alarms, and getting CPR certified, etc.).

*As reported by the media

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Related Articles:
Is Your Baby Protected in the Water?
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

A few days ago, a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to an article on drowning which was quite an eye-opener to me. I personally have never encountered someone who was drowning or been in that position myself, but my husband and friends who have been there say this man’s account is spot-on. I always figured it would be quite apparent – arms flailing and splashing. Not so! In most cases, there is no splashing, yelling, or waving...Drowning people often hover just below the surface with their mouths and face upwards and a glassy look in their eyes.

In my husband’s experience, at the age of 8, he got just a little too close to the deep end. With one stroke of his arms from back to front, he would have been safe, but he found that he could not control his arms and he just bobbed up and down. Thank goodness for the swim instructor who spotted him and recognized that he was drowning.

It is frightening to think how quickly and quietly it can happen. Even more startling is the fact that nearly 50% of children drown within 25 yards of a parent or another adult. In 10% of those cases, the adult will actually watch them do it having no idea it is happening!!

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on preventing drowning, I wanted to share this article with you. I am reproducing it in its entirety below (some emphasis added) but you can find the article here. Thank you to the author, Mario Vittone, for sharing this important message.



The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored sportfisher and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar. “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard. ”Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!”

How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn’t surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.,  is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water.  And it does not look like most people expect.  There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.  To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this:  It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).  Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast Guard’s On Scene Magazine, described the instinctive drowning response like this:

  • Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs.
  • Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  • Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  • Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  • From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.
  • (Source: On Scene Magazine: Fall 2006)

    This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experience aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in there own rescue.  They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

    Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

    • Head low in the water, mouth at water level
    • Head tilted back with mouth open
    • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus
    • Eyes closed
    • Hair over forehead or eyes
    • Not using legs – Vertical
    • Hyperventilating or gasping
    • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway
    • Trying to roll over on the back
    • Ladder climb, rarely out of the water.

    So if a crew member falls overboard and every looks O.K. – don’t be too sure.  Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.  They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.  One  way to be sure?  Ask them: “Are you alright?” If they can answer at all – they probably are.  If they return  a blank stare – you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.  And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.

    Is Your Baby Protected in the Water?

    Less than two weeks ago, former NFL quarterback (now an ordained minister and pastor) Randall Cunningham’s toddler son died in his home’s backyard hot tub.

    His son was the exact same age as my oldest daughter. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to stop thinking about him and his baby boy.

    The thought alone of losing a child is reprehensible. The fact that drowning is preventable has to add an element of torturous grief for parents. Randall Cunningham was on a flight at the time of his son’s death. But according to this article several people were nearby during the incident.

    And unfortunately Randall Cunningham is not alone in his grief. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), drowning is the second leading cause of death to children under the age of 5, after motor vehicle accidents. In fact, the CPSC states that 350 children under the age of 5 die annually in swimming pools.

    Swimming pools are not the only drowning hazards for children. Another 115 children drown annually in bathtubs, buckets, toilets, spas, hot tubs and other containers of water.

    So what can we do to safeguard our children from the hazards of water? I have listed several tips below from the CPSC. In addition, local pool facilities offer infant swimming classes for children ages 6 months old and older, usually labeled “mommy and me” classes. I enrolled both of my children in a “mommy and me” class over the past two weeks. These classes don’t “teach” children how to swim, but rather aim to get them comfortable in the water as well as provide an outlet for socializing with other children.

    I have discovered that both of my children are quite fond of the water and are anxious to “swim” on their own. My two year old constantly asks me to “let go” of her and my 10-month old kicks me to try to get away and swim.

    After this class, I plan to sign both of my kids up for Infant Swimming Resource (ISR) classes. ISR teaches young children ages 6 months to 6 years of age survival skills in water (see photo below of “Emily,” a 14-month old ISR student). Photo Courtesy of westphotos_Jan on Flickr.

    If you need more convincing, watch the video below or this video from Child Drowning Prevention.

    The CPSC offers the following tips to prevent drowning in swimming pools:
    • Install a fence or wall around your pool and hot tub. Fence gates should be self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be out of a small child’s reach.
    • Install a power safety cover – a motor-powered barrier that can be placed over the water area.
    • Keep rescue equipment by the pool and make sure a phone is nearby for emergencies.
    • Don’t leave pool toys and floats in the pool or pool area that may attract young children to the water.
    • Remove, secure and lock steps and ladders to the pool when the pool is not in use.
    • If a child is missing, always look in the pool first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
    • Install pool alarms for an added precaution. Pool alarms should meet the requirements of the ASTM standard.
    • To prevent body and/or hair entrapment, have a qualified pool professional inspect the drain suction fittings and covers on your pool and spa to be sure they are properly sized and attached.

    The CPSC offers the following additional tips to prevent drowning:
    • Never leave a baby alone in a bathtub – not even a second. Always keep the baby in arm’s reach. Don’t leave a baby in the care of another young child. Never leave to answer the phone, answer the door, to get a towel or for any other reason. If you must leave, take the baby with you.
    • A baby bath seat is not a substitute for adult supervision. A bath seat is a bathing aid, not a safety device. Babies have slipped or climbed out of bath seats and drowned.
    • Never use a baby bath seat in a non-skid, slip-resistant bathtub because the suction cups will not adhere to the bathtub surface or can detach unexpectedly.
    • Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. When finished using a bucket, always empty it immediately.
    • Store buckets where young children cannot reach them. Buckets, accessible to children, that are left outside to collect rainwater are a hazard.
    • Always secure safety covers and barriers to prevent children from gaining access to spas or hot tubs when not in use. Some non-rigid covers, such as solar covers, can allow a small child to slip in the water and the cover would appear to still be in place.
    • Keep the toilet lid down to prevent access to the water and consider using a toilet clip to stop young children from opening the lids. Consider placing a latch on the bathroom door out of reach of young children.
    • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) — it can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

    10 Things to Do with Your Young Kids This Summer

    As the summer nears, parents are starting to plan summer activities to keep their children mentally engaged and, well, to wear them out. Since my daughter is now 2 1/2, this is the first Summer that we’ll actually be able to do some fun activities with her.

    Below is a list of 10 things we plan to do this Summer:

    1) Go to an outdoor concert
    Check your local newspapers for free concerts in your area. Many bands offer free concerts at weekend Garden Shows, Zoos (i.e. the National Zoo in Washington, DC hosts two free summer concerts), wine festivals, and farmer markets. Also, most metro areas have large outdoor concert halls (i.e. Washington DC’s “Wolf Trap,” Chicago’s “Rivinia”, etc.) if you’d like to take your little ones to a specific concert. Even better, pack a picnic lunch or dinner!

    2) Go to the Zoo
    The National Zoo in Washington, DC is free. Although most zoos are not free, many offer discounted or free hours during the week. We have already been to a local zoo this summer (with a petting zoo) and plan to return again over the next couple of weeks.

    3) Plant and sow a garden/flowers
    I did not get my act together in time to plant a garden this Summer, but I did plant a blueberry bush and a few rose bushes. One of my 2-year old’s favorite daily activities is watering the bushes and, of course, watching them grow.

    4) Picnic at a park
    A few weeks ago we grabbed a picnic and headed to a local park for lunch. After our daughter was sufficiently exhausted, we set up our spread on a picnic table and had ourselves a nice feast. One huge bonus to a weekend picnic is the cleanup – no crumbs to pick up off the hardwood floors and no tables or height chairs to clean.

    5) Go fishing
    We have a local lake that allows fishing (with permit) and I look forward to taking our daughters there this summer (i.e. Burke Lake, VA). Although we won’t keep the fish once caught, I know she will love seeing the fish and “helping” catch one.

    6) Fly a kite on a windy day
    I don’t think you’re ever too old to fly a kite. Kind of like playing with bubbles outside. ;)

    7) Sign the kids up for swimming lessons
    I have just signed both of my daughters up for a “Tot and Me” class. Although they won’t be swimming like fish by the end of the 6 classes, we’ll have fun doing this together as a family.

    8 ) Go for a hike
    Although you won’t be doing an eco-challenge level hike with toddlers in tow, you might find some fun animals or insects in the woods to explore. Be sure to remember the bug spray!

    9) Go for a ride on a boat
    Many local lakes/rivers (i.e. Baltimore Inner Harbor, Burke Lake, Chicago River tour, New York Skyline tour, etc.) offer paddle boat rides and/or rides on electric boats. I’d probably steer clear of canoes if you have really young children because of the tip factor.

    10) Have a water fight
    Turn on the sprinkler, fill up some balloons with water and run around with your kids. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one looking like a crazy mommy…I’ll be right there with you!

    Enjoy and please let me know about YOUR favorite Summer activity! I’m always looking for cool, fun Summer ideas!

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