Keeping kids safe during pool season

What's Going Around week of June 1, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the temperatures continue to climb, many people will be opening up their backyard pools for the season. 

If you have children nearby, it's important to take necessary precautions to avoid a tragedy. Doctor Purva Grover is a pediatric emergency physician at Cleveland Clinic Children's. She says extra caution needs to be taken at backyard gatherings, where the atmosphere is more relaxed and where most drowning accidents tend to occur.

“If you have a child in the house, you have a pool in the backyard or you are at a friend’s house where there is a pool, if your child goes missing for more than a couple of minutes and you can’t find your child, it’s important to check the pool first, because that could be life or death, really," said Dr. Grover.

Grover says if a child has fallen into a pool, the first few minutes are the difference between life and death. Even if you don't have children, being trained in CPR and being aware of your surroundings can help save a life. 

If a child is found unresponsive, call 911 and start CPR at the scene as soon as possible.

Doctor Grover says that if CPR is started at the scene, the child has a better chance of recovery long-term than if you wait until paramedics arrive.

It's also important to know that a small child can drown in a matter of second in water as shallow as just a few inches. If a child's face becomes submerged, they can lose consciousness and become unable to free themselves. Dr. Grover also cautions parents that the use of floaters can provide a false sense of security. 

“I think it’s okay to use them, but making sure that we understand as parents and they understand as swimmers and children that this is just a device, this does not make you invincible,”  said Dr. Grover.

It's a good idea to install fencing around backyard pools for an added layer of security, but Doctor Grover said the most important thing a parent can do is be present and be aware of where their child is at all times.


What's Going Around

Does your throat feel scratchy, sore, or raw from constant coughing? Doctors in our area say strep throat is one of the main things keeping doctors busy this week- especially in Clay County.

The staff of the Care Spot in Middleburg say their office has been flooded with kids and adults with strep throat. They've also seen several cases of pink eye.

Duval County- according to our SickWeather map, 13 people in Duval County have a high fever. Allergies, cough, the summer cold, and a stomach virus also have people feeling miserable. One case of the flu was also reported near the beach.

St. Johns County-  the staff at the Healing Arts Urgent Care in St. Augustine say they're seeing an increase in summer colds. It can be especially miserable for people who are dealing with the coughing, the congestion, and the heat all at the same time.

Nassau County-  the staff at the Care Spot in Yulee say they've seen a few cases of the flu, strep throat, and a few cases of pink eye.